The social media bot can quickly find and return relevant images to the emoticon sent via Twitter

Only through emojis can one describe their impact to the way we talk online. The New York Public Library (NYPL) is showing Twitter followers where iconic emojis could have come from: tag NYPL’s emoji bot (@NYPLEmoji) with an emoji tweet and in a flash, it will reply with an image from time past – sort of like a really old cousin to the current emojis.

The matches are often based on what the emoji is and its name. A waning moon gets you the front page of a sheet music booklet from 1901, whereas an emoji of a hand pointing upwards leads you to Artist Gustave Saal's engraved print dating back from 1849.

PSFK provides access to this article and every report, case-study, interview, and analysis that we publish for our members. PSFK Professional Membership also unlocks accessto unlimited customized research assistance and our database of over 100,000 insights on innovation trendspanning across eight industry sectors—from culture and brand to retail and customer experience.
Already a members? Log in