An emoji-only social network kind of makes sense. It’s a little bit ridiculous to require people to communicate using a limited dictionary of images, but hear me out: People already use the Japanese animations to have full conversations, to illustrate plots to TV shows and movies, search Yelp, and to express things that words could never describe. So why wouldn’t people want to share their emotions via emoji on a social network? That’s the theory behind Emoji.li, a forthcoming app created by the London-based duo Matt Gray and Tom Scott.
They introduce the app in a video that claims the project is not satire. The two say that app will be available on iOS “very soon.” Interested users can sign up for coveted early user names here. Some of the best ones, like the painted nails, are already taken.
Fast Company caught up with the creators, who again insist that the site is not a total joke. (Although it still kind of sounds like a joke that will result in an actual app that people might use.) Here’s the thought process behind the silly-sounding network, that they say could be the next Twitter:
What gave you the idea for an emoji-only social network?
Both Matt and I had the idea at about the same time–it came out of two stories. First, comedy social network Yo, and second, the Unicode Consortium’s new emojis! We weren’t sold on it until we realized that usernames should be emoji too. At that point, we burst out laughing and realized we had to build it.
Why does the world/Internet need Emoji.li?
It doesn’t. It really doesn’t. But the Internet didn’t need Twitter either, and look where we are a few years later…
Is Emoj.li an elaborate joke? (I know you say it’s not satire in the introductory video, but this is the Internet where everything is always a hoax.)
It’s a really elaborate joke, in that we’re actually making the app!
Do you have an example of communications that might happen on Emoji.li?
We wouldn’t want to limit people, though!
What are your backgrounds? Do you have other jobs?
Matt’s a professional broadcast engineer, and Tom makes stuff for the Internet. He doesn’t really have a better job description than that.
What are your Emoji.li screen names?
Matt’s a grinning face, and Tom’s a shooting star. You can probably draw some psychological inferences from that, but we wouldn’t want to.
What’s your favorite emoji?
Matt: The pile of poo. Purely because it’s even there.