I had hard time to understand different emoticons expressions as it is not easy to know what they mean from just looking and I was not familiar with such thing until recently.

I was wondering why emoji is not possible to be used in SE. will it be nice if this feature is add?


  • You can't impose a set of emoticons on answers that have already been written, since they may not convey the sentiment that the author had in mind when he wrote the emoticon with plain characters. Neither do I think it's a good idea to have this feature for new posts, because I just don't like emoticons and that's a preference I am probably not alone in. However if you think it helps you there are lots of browser plugins that will do this for you, without imposing it on anyone else. Be aware that the emoticon set that the plugin uses may be misleading as to the original intent. – C. E. Feb 6 '15 at 0:28
  • We are using them in comments. I agree that they should not be used in neither questions nor answers. But on comments I have feeling they will help. – Algohi Feb 6 '15 at 0:33
  • Is there a reason why you cannot use them already, if you feel like it? As stated on the Wikipedia page, huge numbers of these already exist as standard characters in Unicode 6.0. Just use the character if you want to. (You will have to hope that your readers have the Unicode 6.0 fonts installed. If they care about emojis, they probably will.) – Oleksandr R. Feb 6 '15 at 2:05
  • 1
    Emoji can already be used in SE 😲 but personally I am 👎 about them. – user484 Feb 7 '15 at 23:09
  • @Rahul, how did you do that :-0 – Algohi Feb 7 '15 at 23:11
  • I will try this: 😵😵 – Algohi Feb 7 '15 at 23:12
  • Ok using SE app in ipad . Hamm. That is new to me. Thanks – Algohi Feb 7 '15 at 23:13

I'm Grace Note, a community manager at Stack Exchange. That said, the below are my personal thoughts.

I don't think emoji would be practical for implementation, for a few reasons.

  • Emoji don't have a consistent schema. Does :) mean someone who's cheerfully making a simple smile, or is it someone who is excited with a huge tooth-filled grin? Do you need :-) to actually make a smile, or does it become something like :smile:? Is it :) or (:? That varies based on what system you're using for emoji. Making these decisions is fine and dandy if you're designing a system with the intent to support emoji, but we don't have that prerequisite at the start here.
  • Emoji would be bulky. We don't even want to turn on MathJax on every site because of potential slowdown issues. One thing I can very warmly recall of forums is how long it takes to load the post editor because of all the emoji. So imagine how much we'd have to deal with that once you start introducing that lot on pages.

But perhaps, most of all.

  • Emoji don't really fit the system we have here. Emoji are designed to be friendly, chatty, and communicative of emotion. That's why they're pretty fancy for chat clients, forums, and other systems where you have people who are engaging in conversations with each other.

    Stack Exchange isn't a conversation engine though. We even discourage greetings, gratitudes, signatures, even +1/-1 in comments, because of what we call "noise" distracting from the "signal" that is the Q&A content. Even comments on posts, the point of comments is to inquire, clarify, or expand on the content of the attached post. A smiley here or there adds a little color but importantly does not currently distract from the content therein because it is innocuous and uncommon.

    Start making them have graphical representation, and it'd increase both their visibility and their frequency. You'd skim a page of words and words but BAM smiley, and that stands out and brings attention when in the long run it's the least-deserving-of-attention item on the page. Meanwhile, once you've got built-in support, it implies that these are tools meant to be used, which would most likely leave to a rise in the usage of emoji. Which means more noise.

Emoji are fun and an amusing system. Especially in places where they have particularly creative and expressive choices, their over-use often gets overshadowed by the fact it still makes me smile (or otherwise react appropriately). We're simply not the right kind of system for it, though.

  • Fair enough. Thanks :) – Algohi Feb 6 '15 at 20:46

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