Twitter shares history of custom Indian emojis on International Internet Day

International Internet Day

Hyderabad: Words have always been the starting point for expressing yourself, but in this day and age, words alone just don’t cut it. Ever imagined if emojis were never invented? Well, thinking of messages without emojis is extremely difficult for each one of us today. So much so that emojis make conversations interesting and help us express in the best way possible.

Twitter is one of the biggest companies and the biggest platforms where conversations happen everyday and it regularly adds custom emojis to mark special occasions. Twitter has seen new ways of communicating on the service, While people on Twitter have always had access to a standard set of emojis, GIFs, memes, videos, and more, but perhaps the most friendly and easy-to-use way of expressing oneself has become the emoji. Twitter in India has introduced several custom emojis in the past years that emphasise aspects of local culture,
entertainment, sports and current affairs in the country.

On International Internet Day 2020 Twitter celebrates by mapping the history of all of the custom emojis it has introduced over five years in India.

Custom emojis in India were first launched on the service in 2015 with 13 creative symbols to connect with audiences. Taking a cue from the popularity of these emojis, over the years this grew to 39 in 2016, 62 in 2017, 39 in 2018, 86 in 2019, and 50 in 2020 till September.

Here is a look at how custom emojis on Twitter have come to connect with Indians from across the country. 

  • The first-ever Indian emoji was the #MakeInIndia emoji, introduced in Nov 2015.


  • In 2016, the first-ever emoji activated by Indian languages was introduced. This emoji, launched for Diwali 2016, could be activated with Hindi hashtags #दीपावली or #दिवाली, in addition to the English hashtags#HappyDiwali, #HappyDeepavali, #Diwali, and#Deepavali. Over years, several festival-related and cultural emojis have been activated by hashtags in various Indian languages including Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Urdu, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada

  • In April 2017, Twitter for the first-ever time came up with a custom personalised IPL emoji for all 30 players as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of IPL.

  • In the same month, the first-ever #AmbedkarJayanti emoji was launched on Twitter. An emoji representing BabasahebAmbedkar appeared in Tweets with hashtags like #AmbedkarJayantiand #अंबेडकरजयंती

One of Twitter India’s biggest social initiatives #PowerOf18aimed at encouraging the youth of India to contribute to public debate and participate in civic engagement, and also received its own emoji.

  • In Sports, Mithali Raj (@M_Raj03) was the first woman cricketer from India to get an emoji, and during the Women’s Cricket World up in June 2017, Indians supported their captain by making her the most Tweeted about captain globally, topping the Twitter Emoji Leaderboard.

  • Encouraging positive conversations on the service, Twitter India and Anushka Sharma (@AnushkaSharma) together launched the #HappyTweets campaign to spread joy amongst people. The campaign was also supported with a custom heart emoji.

  • In 2020, faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, audiences on Indian Twitter took a trip down the memory lane and threw-back to some iconic moments from the ‘90s. To celebrate these conversations, Twitter India launched an emoji that reminded everyone of the decade. The emoji was activated by using three hashtags – #BackToThe90s, #90sLove, and #90sNostalgia

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