Machine Learning for Emoji Trends

In October 2011, Apple added the emoji keyboard to iOS as an international keyboard. Since then, digital language has evolved such that nearly half of comments and captions on Instagram contain emoji characters. And earlier this week, Instagram also added support for emoji characters in hashtags, which allows people to tag and search content with their favorite emoji #🎉.

In Part 1 of this blog post series, we will take a deep dive into emoji usage on Instagram. By applying machine learning and natural language processing techniques, we’ll discover the hidden semantics of emoji.


Part-1-ing Thoughts

On Instagram, emoji are becoming a valid and near-universal method of expression in all languages. Emoji usage is shifting the people’s vocabulary on Instagram and becoming an important means of expression: their use is anti-correlated with internet slang like “lol” and “xoxo.” By observing words and emoji together we were able to discern representations of both. These representations can help us better understand their semantics and find distinctive characteristics of similar symbols.