May 13th, 2019 from 9.00 AM - 12.30 PM, in San Francisco, CA


2nd​ International Workshop on Emoji Understanding and Applications in Social Media
Co-located with The Web Conference 2019 (formerly WWW)


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.

Emoji is a follow up to one of the best-attended workshops at ICWSM 2018 that was extended from a half-day to a full day due to the quality and quantity of submissions received and the expressed interest. Emoji, which was the previous workshop in this series involved a truly interdisciplinary (computer science, linguistics, computational social science, anthropology, law, and marketing) and highly engaging participation covering a balanced representation from academia and industry. It attracted 18 submissions, including 14 long papers and 4 short papers. A total of 8 papers (6 long papers and 2 short papers) were accepted for the final workshop program and the workshop proceedings are available online at The workshop program also included a keynote presentation, a tutorial, and a highly interdisciplinary panel on "The Challenges in Emoji Understanding" that provided an animated and engaging forum to the attendees to discuss the open emoji research problems with leading researchers and practitioners. The panel consisted of Jennifer 8. Lee (Vice Chair, Unicode Emoji Subcommittee), Keith Winstein (Assistant Professor, Stanford University), Eric Goldman (Professor, Santa Clara University), Rachael Tatman (Data Scientist, Kaggle), and Francesco Barbieri (Postdoctoral Researcher, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain). The workshop program was covered in a article by Arielle Pardes, which can be accessed online at


Paper Submission: February 4th, 2019 (23:59, anywhere on earth). EasyChair paper submission system is here
Author Notification: February 23rd, 2019.
Camera-ready Paper Due: March 3rd, 2019.
Workshop Day: May 13th, 2019.


12-09-2018: Emoji EasyChair paper submission system is online .
12-07-2018: Emoji Workshop Website is online .
11-28-2018: Emoji workshop was accepted at The Web Conference 2019 .


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. Emoji-based retrieval and search
  6. Challenges in using emoji as a language
  7. Emoji’s effects on the evolution of language constructs used on social media such as emoticons and slang terms
  8. Common emoji usages in social media
  9. Cultural and community-specific emoji meaning evolution and interpretation
  10. Distinct social and communicative roles of emoji
  11. Understanding sender intention and receiver interpretation of emoji
  12. Emoji rendering and interface design challenges
  13. Applications of emoji in social media
  14. Emoji and the Law
  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 (10 pages), short papers (5 pages), and demo proposals (4 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. Papers must be submitted in PDF according to the ACM format published in the ACM guidelines (Please find the ACM guidelines here -, selecting the generic "sigconf" sample. A high-resolution PDF of the paper should be uploaded to the EasyChair submission site at before the paper submission deadline. The PDF file must have all non-standard fonts embedded. The proceedings of the workshops will be published jointly with the conference proceedings.


Paper Submission: February 4th, 2019 (23:59, anywhere on earth). EasyChair paper submission system is here
Author Notification: February 23rd, 2019.
Camera-ready Paper Due: March 3rd, 2019.
Workshop Day: May 13th, 2019.


Organizing Committee

Program Committee

Website and Content Management


Final workshop program including all accepted papers is listed below.



9.00 AM - 9.05 AM


9.05 AM - 9.50 AM

Keynote - Decoding the New World Language: Analyzing the Popularity, Roles, and Utility of Emojis
Speaker - Qiaozhu Mei (Professor, University of Michigan, USA)

Qiaozhu Mei
University of Michigan

Emojis have quickly become a universal language that is used by worldwide users, for everyday tasks, across language barriers, and in different apps and platforms. The prevalence of emojis has quickly attracted great attentions from various research communities such as natural language processing, Web mining, ubiquitous computing, and human-computer interaction, as well as other disciplines including social science, arts, psychology, and linguistics. This talk summarizes the recent efforts made by my research group and our collaborators on analyzing large-scale emoji data.

9.50 AM - 10.05 AM

Emoji Sequence Use in Enacting Personal Identity
Jing Ge

10.05 AM - 10.20 AM

Exploring (Dis-)Similarities in Emoji-Emotion Association on Twitter and Weibo
Mingyang Li, Sharath Guntuku and Lyle Ungar

10.20 AM - 10.30 AM

Assessing the Meaning of Emojis for Emotional Awareness - A Pilot Study
Wesley Brants, Bonita Sharif and Alexander Serebrenik

10.30 AM - 11.00 AM

Coffee Break

11.00 AM - 11.15 AM

When a Merperson is a Merman: Using Gender Inclusive Designs for Codepoints which Do Not Specify Gender
Invited Talk by Jinnifer Daniel, Creative Directory (Emoji), Google.

11.15 AM - 11.30 AM

Opico: A Study of Emoji-first Communication in a Mobile Social App
Sujay Khandekar, Joseph Higgs, Yuanzhe Bian, Chae Won Ryu, Jerry O. Talton Iii and Ranjitha Kumar

11.30 AM - 11.45 AM

Hanmoji: What Chinese Characters and Emoji Reveal About Each Other
Invited Talk by Jennifer 8 Lee, Founder of Emojination & Vice-chair of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee

11.45 AM - 12.00 PM

Multimodal Emotion Classification
Anurag Illendula and Amit Sheth

12.00 PM - 12.15 PM

Emoji Prediction for Hebrew Political Domain
Chaya Liebeskind and Shmuel Liebeskind

12.15 PM - 12.30 PM

Emojis in Sentence Processing: An Electrophysiological Approach
Invited Talk by Benjamin Weissman, Ph.D. Student, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

12.30 PM

Closing Remarks


Emoji will be held in Hyatt Regency Hotel, San Francisco, California.


Below, we provide proceedings of the previous runs of this emoji workshop, a list of other important emoji-related research papers, and datasets that align 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.

Previous Runs of the Emoji Workshop

  1. The 1st emoji workshop, titled Emoji, was held in conjunction with with The 12​th​ International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM-18). The workshop attracted more than 35 attendees representing many disciplines. The workshop program included a keynote, a tutorial, a total of 8 paper presentations (6 long papers and 2 short papers), and a panel discussion which lead by leading researchers and practitioners. The workshop proceedings are available at

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

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

Emoji Prediction

  1. Barbieri et al., Interpretable Emoji Prediction via Label-Wise Attention LSTMs, EMNLP 2018. [Paper]
  2. Barbieri et al., SemEval 2018 Task 2: Multilingual Emoji Prediction, NAACL 2018. [Paper]
  3. Barbieri et al., Multimodal Emoji Prediction, NAACL 2018. [Paper]
  4. Barbieri et al., Are Emoji Predictable?, EACL 2017. [Paper]

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]