Here’s what your favourite emojis looked like when they were first introduced

A decade of emojis. Twitter/Emojipedia
  • Emojis were released on Apple iPhones for the first time 11 years ago, in Japan.
  • July 17th is officially World Emoji Day.
  • Now, Emojipedia, a website that keeps track of every emoji, has compared what some of the most popular emojis looked like when they were first released.
  • Emojis are now more diverse and customisable than ever.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

According to Emojipedia, emojis first became available to download – in Japan only at the time – on November 21, 2008, in the Apple app store. By 2015, 92% of the online population used emojis regularly.

To celebrate World Emoji Day, Emojipedia compared what certain emojis looked like when they were first introduced to the world to what they have developed into today.

Keep scrolling to see how much your favourite emojis have changed.

Emojis debuted on iPhones almost 11 years ago, on November 21, 2008, when Apple released an update that included the brand-new emoji keyboard.

Evolution of the two dancing ladies. Twitter/Emojipedia

Emojis have become ingrained into our lives. Whenever Apple announces new emojis, there’s inevitably controversy. Even the placement of the cheese on the cheeseburger emoji caused drama.

Emojis have become so prevalent that they have jumped off our phone screens and into real life. Who hasn’t wanted a poop emoji pillow?

The dancing lady, then and now. Twitter/Emojipedia

Maybe pool floats are more your style.

Over the past decade, their designs have become more realistic. The original angel emoji didn’t even have a nose or ears.

A baby angel, then and now. Twitter/Emojipedia

The Unicode Consortium, the non-profit that oversees emojis, has attempted to make emojis as inclusive as possible. All emojis started out as either white or yellow. Now, there are multiple skin colours available, plus the standard yellow.

Emojis have also been known to respond to the political climate. Back in 2016, Apple changed their gun emoji to resemble a squirt gun. Other tech companies have followed suit.

The gun, then and now. Twitter/Emojipedia

Apple was pressured to change the emoji by multiple activist groups, including New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.

But of course, not all emojis are such serious business. The big change in this bathtub emoji is the addition of a face, shower cap, and the option to change its skin tone.

Bathtub, then and now. Twitter/Emojipedia

The big change to the bank emoji was the removal of the letters “BK” and the addition of a dollar sign, to clearly illustrate what the building is.

The bank, then and now. Twitter/Emojipedia

Now there’s no mistaking what this building is.

All emojis, not just the humans, look more realistic. Check out the difference a decade made for the camel.

The camel, then and now. Twitter/Emojipedia

Emojis have also lost many of the borders and backgrounds that used to be prevalent.

A castle, then and now. Twitter/Emojipedia

Now, we can see the entire castle, and the turrets have two new flags waving in the wind.

The gavel was changed into a classic hammer over the years.

A hammer, then and now. Twitter/Emojipedia

Not everyone was happy about this change – there are petitions circulating demanding that the gavel emoji be restored.

And the golf ball has been switched to a “flag in hole.”

Golf, then and now. Twitter/Emojipedia

The “Hole in Flag” shows a flag inside a hole on a golf course. It replaced the golf ball in 2015.

A huge change in the emoji keyboard was when it switched from 2D to 3D designs in 2016.

Construction worker, then and now. Twitter/Emojipedia

The construction worker emoji now has a more detailed face, and ditched the traditional green cross that Japanese construction workers use as a safety reminder.

Even classic emojis, like this girl, whose official name is “Person Tipping Hand,” has had a glow-up in the last decade. Plus, a male counterpart was added.

Person Tipping Hand, then and now. Twitter/Emojipedia

She used to be called “Information Desk Person,” but most texters used her to signify a hair flip, sassiness, or sarcasm.

This guy received a much-needed outfit change, from jeans to exercise wear.

Running man, then and now. Twitter/Emojipedia

What will emojis look like 10 years from now?

The rocket, then and now. Twitter/Emojipedia