June 25, 2018, Room LK 250 Berg C, Li Ka Shing Conference Center


1​st​ International Workshop on Emoji Understanding and Applications in Social Media
Co-located with The 12​th​ International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM-18)


Pictographs, commonly referred to as "emoji", have become a popular way to enhance electronic communication. With their introduction in the late 1990's, emoji have been widely used to enhance the sentiment, emotion, and sarcasm expressed in social media messages. They often play distinct social and communicative roles compared to other forms of written language while taking over language constructs such as slang terms and emoticons. The ability to automatically process, derive meaning, and interpret text fused with emoji will be essential as society embraces emoji as a standard form of online communication. Yet the pictorial nature of emoji, the fact that (the same) emoji may be used in different contexts to express different meanings, and that emoji are used in different cultures and communities over the world who interpret emoji differently, make it especially difficult to apply traditional Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques to analyze them. To meet these challenges, Emoji aims to stimulate research on understanding social, cultural, communicative, and linguistic roles of emoji and developing novel approaches to analyze, interpret and understand emoji and their usage in social media applications. It provides a forum to bring together researchers and practitioners from both academia and industry in the areas of social network analysis and mining, natural language processing, computational linguistics, human-computer interaction, and computational social sciences to discuss high-quality research and emerging applications, to exchange ideas and experience, and to identify new opportunities for collaboration.


Paper Submission: March 27th, 2018 (23:59, anywhere on earth). Please use the EasyChair submission site to submit your papers.
Author Notification: April 3rd, 2018.
Camera-ready Paper Due: April 10th, 2018.
Workshop Day: June 25th, 2018.


02-09-2018: Emoji LaTeX template is online .
01-30-2018: Emoji submission site and Workshop Website are online .
01-28-2018: Emoji workshop was accepted at ICWSM 2018 .


With the rise of social media, emoji have become an extremely popular form of communication in social media. They are equally popular across major social media sites including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. As of 2017, Facebook and Facebook Messenger process over 60 million and 6 billion messages with emoji per day, respectively. In 2015, Instagram reported that nearly half of the photo comments posted on Instagram contains emoji and Instagram users tend to replace slang terms using emoji in photo comments. Another study revealed that emoji are slowly taking over emoticons on Twitter. Emoji data generated on social media sites have been utilized to study how emoji are used across different languages, cultures, user communities and as features to learn machine learning models to solve problems that span across many applications, including sentiment analysis, emotion analysis, and sarcasm detection. The ability to automatically process, derive meaning, and interpret text fused with emoji will be essential as society embraces emoji as a standard form of online communication. Thus, Emoji tries to bring together computer and social science researchers and practitioners from both academia and industry to discuss and exchange ideas on understanding social, cultural, communicative, and linguistic roles of emoji while leading the discussions on building novel computational methods to understand and interpret them.

Emoji is focused on research and discussions on challenges in emoji understanding, including but not limited to the following research directions.

  1. Challenges in interpreting the meaning of an emoji in a message context
  2. Novel methods for emoji sense disambiguation
  3. Novel methods for calculating emoji similarity
  4. Novel methods for emoji prediction
  5. Challenges in using emoji as a language
  6. Emoji’s effects on the evolution of language constructs used on social media such as emoticons and slang terms
  7. Common emoji usages in social media
  8. Cultural and community-specific emoji meaning evolution and interpretation
  9. Why emoji meanings change over time and across communities?
  10. Distinct social and communicative roles of emoji
  11. How do people come to understandings of the meanings of the emoji?
  12. Understanding sender intention and receiver interpretation of emoji
  13. Emoji rendering and interface design challenges
  14. Applications of emoji in social media
  15. Research related to other pictorial representations such as emoticons, kaomoji, emotes, customized emoji (e.g., bitmoji), and animated gifs

We encourage submissions (full research papers, short papers, and demo proposals) that utilize quantitative, qualitative and mixed research methods to approach the above challenges as contributions. For more information on how to prepare and submit papers including LaTeX templates, submission website etc., please check the paper submission instructions below.


We invite regular technical papers (8 pages), short papers (4 pages), and demo proposals (2 page). Submissions must be original and should not have been published previously or be under consideration for publication while being evaluated for this workshop. Submissions will be evaluated by the program committee based on the quality of the work and its fit to the workshop themes. All submissions should be double-blind and use the Emoji2018 LaTeX template (based on CEUR-WS templates) for formatting. A high-resolution PDF of the paper should be uploaded to the EasyChair submission site before the paper submission deadline. The authors of selected papers from the Emoji2018 Workshop will be invited to send extended and improved articles to a special issue of ACM Transactions on Social Computing with a deadline in Fall 2018 and to be published in 2019.


Paper Submission: March 27th, 2018 (23:59, anywhere on earth). Please use the EasyChair submission site to submit your papers.
Author Notification: April 3rd, 2018.
Camera-ready Paper Due: April 10th, 2018.
Workshop Day: June 25th, 2018.


Organizing Committee

Program Committee

Website and Content Management


Final workshop program including all accepted papers is listed below. Abstracts of all accepted papers can be downloaded from here. Emoji2018 Online Workshop proceedings are available at ceur-ws.org/Vol-2130/



9.00 AM - 9.10 AM


9.10 AM - 10.00 AM

Keynote - Emoji are Great and/or They will Destroy the World
Speaker - Tyler Schnoebelen (Principle Product Manager at Integrate.ai)

Tyler Schnoebelen
Principle Product Manager

Outside of emoji researchers, lots of people still forecast disaster or dream of universal communication even if most of us are confident that neither is nigh. Despite our protests, emoji inspire visions of apocalypse and utopia. As with many linguistic resources (sounds, words, syntax), people use emoji to grind all sorts of axes. For example, people who say that women use more emoji than men are usually making some point that the data don't support. The first step in such an analysis is to ignore or discount the fact that, say, Snoop Dogg and Kyle MacLachlan are among the biggest emoji users in the world. In this talk, I'll demonstrate how ideologies of emoji work themselves out across 870 journalists that political scientists have separately scored as liberal, conservative, or centrist. This lets us compare objective vs. subjective stances and inverts the idea that gender explains emoji to show how it is that emoji are a way that people "do" gender differently based on their political commitments.

10.00 AM - 10.20 AM

I Stand With You: Using Emojis to Study Solidarity in Crisis Events
Sashank Santhanam, Vidhushini Srinivasan, Shaina Glass and Samira Shaikh
[Download Paper] | [Slides]

10.20 AM - 10.30 AM

Emoji Grammar as Beat Gestures
Gretchen Mcculloch and Lauren Gawne
[Download Paper] | [Slides]

10.30 AM - 11.00 AM

Coffee Break

11.00 AM - 11.20 AM

Multi-task Emoji Learning
Francesco Barbieri, Luis Marujo, Pradeep Karuturi and William Brendel
[Download Paper] | [Slides]

11.20 AM - 12.30 PM

Mini Tutorial on Emoji Understanding
Sanjaya Wijeratne, Amit Sheth, and Horacio Saggion

12.30 PM - 2.00 PM

Lunch Break (Lunch will NOT be provided by the conference)

2.00 PM - 2.10 PM

Exploring Emoji Usage and Prediction Through a Temporal Variation Lens
Francesco Barbieri, Luis Marujo, William Brendel, Pradeep Karuturi and Horacio Saggion
[Download Paper] | [Slides]

2.10 PM - 2.30PM

Methodology to Detect and Improve Emoji Lexica with Low Quality Manual Annotations
Milagros Fernández-Gavilanes, Jonathan Juncal-Martínez, Silvia García-Méndez, Enrique Costa-Montenegro and Francisco Javier González-Castaño
[Download Paper] | [Slides]

2.30 PM - 2.50 PM

Learning Emoji Embeddings using Emoji Co-occurrence Network Graph
Anurag Illendula and Manish Yedulla
[Download Paper] | [Slides]

2.50 PM - 3.10 PM

Receiver Interpretations of Emoji Functions: A Gender Perspective
Susan C Herring and Ashley R Dainas
[Download Paper] | [Slides]

3.10 PM - 3.30 PM

Distant Supervision for Emotion Classification Task using emoji2emotion
Aisulu Rakhmetullina, Dietrich Trautmann and Georg Groh
[Download Paper] | [Slides]

3.30 PM - 4.00 PM

Coffee Break

4.00 PM - 5.00 PM

Panel Discussion - The Challenges on Emoji Understanding
Panelists - Jennifer 8. Lee, Keith Winstein, Eric Goldman, Rachael Tatman, and Francesco Barbieri.

Jennifer 8. Lee
Vice-chair, Unicode Emoji Subcommittee

Keith Winstein
Assistant Professor
Stanford University

Eric Goldman
Santa Clara University

Rachael Tatman
Data Scientist

Francesco Barbieri
UPF, Spain

5.00 PM

Closing Remarks


Emoji will be held in room LK 250 Berg C (on the second floor) of the Li Ka Shing Conference Center, Stanford University, California. ICWSM-18 Badge Pickup and Onsite Registration will open at 8:00AM in the Paul Berg Foyer on the second floor of the Li Ka Shing Conference Center.


Below, we provide a list of emoji-related research papers and datasets that aligns with the themes of the workshop. Please note that the list does not cover all themes of the workshop nor lists all published papers on emoji-related research. This list can be helpful if you are new to emoji-related research areas.

Challenges in Emoji Interpretation (Platform-specific Emoji, Sender and Receiver Intentions)

  1. Miller et al., Understanding Emoji Ambiguity in Context: The Role of Text in Emoji-related Miscommunication, ICWSM 2017. [Paper]
  2. Miller et al., "Blissfully happy" or "ready to fight": Varying Interpretations of Emoji.", ICWSM 2016. [Paper]
  3. Tigwell et al., Oh That's What You Meant!: Reducing Emoji Misunderstanding, MobileHCI 2016. [Paper]
  4. Cramer et al., Sender-intended Functions of Emojis in US Messaging, MobileHCI 2016. [Paper]

Emoji and the Law

  1. Eric Goldman, Emojis and the Law, 93 Washington Law Review, 2018. [Paper]
  2. Goldman et al., Emojis and Intellectual Property Law, WIPO Magazine, 2018. [Paper]
  3. Kirley et al., The Emoji Factor: Humanizing the Emerging Law of Digital Speech, Tennessee Law Review, 2017. [Paper]
  4. Rachel Scall, Emoji as Language and Their Place Outside American Copyright Law, JIPEL, 2016. [Paper]

Emoji Sense Disambiguation and Emoji Prediction

  1. Wijeratne et al., EmojiNet: An Open Service and API for Emoji Sense Discovery, ICWSM 2017. [Paper] | [Dataset] | [API]
  2. Barbieri et al., Are Emoji Predictable?, EACL 2017. [Paper]
  3. Wijeratne et al., EmojiNet: Building a Machine Readable Sense Inventory for Emoji, SocInfo 2016. [Paper] | [Dataset]

Emoji Similarity

  1. Wijeratne et al., A semantics-based measure of emoji similarity, Web Intelligence 2017. [Paper] | [Dataset]
  2. Pohl et al., Beyond Just Text: Semantic Emoji Similarity Modeling to Support Expressive Communication, TOCHI 2017. [Paper]
  3. Barbieri et al., What does this Emoji Mean? A Vector Space Skip-Gram Model for Twitter Emojis, LREC 2016. [Paper] | [Dataset]
  4. Eisner et al., emoji2vec: Learning Emoji Representations from their Description. [Paper] | [Code]

Emoji’s Effects on Language Constructs

  1. Donato et al., Investigating Redundancy in Emoji Use: Study on a Twitter Based Corpus, ACL 2017. [Paper]
  2. Na’aman et al., MojiSem: Varying Linguistic Purposes of Emoji in (Twitter) Context, ACL 2017. [Paper]
  3. Pavalanathan et al., More emojis, less :) The Competition for Paralinguistic Function in Microblog Writing, FirstMonday 2016. [Paper]

Emoji Sentiment Lexicons and Sentiment Analysis

  1. Felbo et al., Using Millions of Emoji Occurrences to Learn Any-domain Representations for Detecting Sentiment, Emotion and Sarcasm, EMNLP 2017. [Paper] | [Code]
  2. Ai et al., Untangling Emoji Popularity through Semantic Embeddings, ICWSM 2017. [Paper]
  3. Hu et al., Spice up Your Chat: The Intentions and Sentiment Effects of Using Emoji, ICWSM 2017. [Paper]
  4. Kimura et al., Automatic Construction of an Emoji Sentiment Lexicon, ASONAM 2017 [Paper]
  5. Rodrigues et al., Lisbon Emoji and Emoticon Database (LEED): Norms for Emoji and Emoticons in Seven Evaluative Dimensions, Springer 2017. [Paper]
  6. Wood et al., Emoji as Emotion Tags for Tweets, LREC 2016. [Paper]
  7. Novac et al., Sentiment of Emojis, PLoS One 2015. [Paper]

Emoji Usage Across Different Cultures and User Groups

  1. Chen et al., Through a Gender Lens: An Empirical Study of Emoji Usage over Large-Scale Android Users. 2017 [Paper]
  2. Barbieri et al., How Cosmopolitan Are Emojis?: Exploring Emojis Usage and Meaning over Different Languages with Distributional Semantics, MM 2016. [Paper]
  3. Ljubesic et al., A Global Analysis of Emoji Usage, WAC-X, ACL, 2016. [Paper]
  4. Barbieri et al., Revealing Patterns of Twitter Emoji Usage in Barcelona and Madrid, 2016. [Paper]
  5. Lu et al., Learning from the ubiquitous language: an empirical analysis of emoji usage of smartphone users, ACM 2016. [Paper]

Emoji Usage on Social Media

  1. Fede et al., Representing Emoji Usage Using Directed Networks: A Twitter Case Study, Springer, CHAM 2017. [Paper]

Emoji Usage in Mobile Applications

  1. Zhou et al., Goodbye Text, Hello Emoji: Mobile Communication on WeChat in China, CHI 2017. [Paper]
  2. Ali et al., Face2Emoji: Using Facial Emotional Expressions to Filter Emojis, CHI 2017. [Paper]
  3. Wilson et al., Multi-Moji: Combining Thermal, Vibrotactile & Visual Stimuli to Expand the Affective Range of Feedback, CHI 2017. [Paper]
  4. Tauch et al., The Roles of Emojis in Mobile Phone Notifications, UbiComp 2016. [Paper]

Other Pictographic Representations

  1. Barbieri et al., Towards the Understanding of Gaming Audiences by Modeling Twitch Emotes, W-NUT, ACL 2017. [Paper]
  2. Jiang et al., Understanding Diverse Interpretations of Animated GIFs, CHI EA 2017. [Paper]
  3. Herring et al., "Nice Picture Comment!" Graphicons in Facebook Comment Threads, HICSS 2017. [Paper]