Trends: Custom Emoji

Kim Kardashian West's Kimoji (Fushion)

Kim Kardashian West’s Kimoji (Fushion)

Everyone loves emoji. That’s just a fact. Recently, emoji have grown and expanded. Where there used to be just one brand of emoji, now there are several types.

Distribution company Focus Features came up with custom emoji to promote their recent film “Loving.” The film details the history of the 1967 landmark Supreme Court case which struck down miscegenation statues across the United States. The emoji were created to show the range of love between people, and so users could relate to the film in a modern way.

Releasing custom emoji has hit disparate industries and public figures. Professional golfer Bubba Watson released his “Bubbamoji” in April 2016. Stand-up comic and actor Kevin Hart has his line of “Kevmoji,” all modeled after the comedian’s very expressive face. The “Kevmoji” hit #1 on iTunes downloads immediately after its release in September 2016.

But nobody’s dominated the custom emoji space better than America’s most polarizing reality TV family: the Kardashian/Jenners. Members of the family have taken to designing custom emoji for their fans to communicate with like-minded souls. Kim Kardashian West (who’s turned out to be quite the technology and new media mogul) debuted her “Kimoji” in December 2015, and was an immediate hit.

Not to be outdone, Rob Kardashian’s fiancee (and mother of his daughter Dream) Blac Chyna has also released her own line of emoji. But, like anything dealing with the Kardashian/Jenner clan, this has not been without drama: One of the “Chymoji” depicts Chyna slapping a brunette woman presumed to be Kardashian West’s stepsister Kylie Jenner. (If you don’t know why this is a foul, brush up on the history of the feud between the two.)

Another person in the Kardashian Extended Universe (KEU, for short) is feminist activist Amber Rose. (Rose is one of Kanye West’s former paramours. West is now, of course, married to Kim Kardashian West.) Rose dropped her “MuvaMoji” in March 2016, where it earned around $4M. That number includes $2M on release day alone.

It’s clear that launching a set of custom emoji is becoming a necessary step in engaging with fans. So who’ll be next to launch a set?

Idris Elba Makes History at the 2016 SAG Awards

Idris Elba at the 2016 SAG Awards (LA Times)

Idris Elba at the 2016 SAG Awards (LA Times)

The world’s hottest man (not editorializing, this is a fact and everyone agrees) made history Saturday night at the annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards.

Idris Elba (you know him as Stringer Bell from “The Wire”) not only became the first man to win two SAG awards in one night; he became the first African-American man to do so. Elba won for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for “Beasts of No Nation,” and for Best Male Actor in a Television Movie or Mini Series for “Luther.” This is especially impressive as it’s the first year he was nominated for a solo acting award. Go Idris!

But Elba’s wins made a splash for another, more sobering reason: He’s the only film winner that wasn’t nominated for an Oscar. His fellow winners (Leonardo DiCaprio for “The Revenant,” Brie Larson for “Room,” and Alicia Vikander for “The Danish Girl“) are all nominated. With the conversation around the Oscars’ diversity occurring for the second year in a row (#OscarsSoWhiteRedux), it’s worth noting for the future.

With Queen Latifah (“Bessie“), Uzo Aduba (“Orange is the New Black“), and Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder“) also winning awards, Elba welcomed us all into the future with the following words:

“Ladies and gentleman, welcome to diverse TV.”

I, for one, cannot wait to see how things progress.