Emoj.li, The Emoji-Only, Anti-Silicon Valley Social Network

Dissimilar to the countless social networks and apps that have gone before, Emoj.li isn’t looking to disrupt or change any of the existing Web 2.0 business models. Instead of taking itself seriously, it’s an evolving experiment that uses self-deprecating humor while parodying the social media space at large. With over 45,000 pre-registered users already signed up and zero funding, it’s turning an inside joke (for those that get it) into a reality.

What is Emoji?

According to the Unicode Consortium (the organization responsible for standardizing software formats) emojis are “picture characters.” The practice originated with cellular telephone usage in Japan, and the word literally translates to mean to use a picture in place of writing to tell a story.

The new emojis are often pictographs—images of things such as faces, weather, vehicles and buildings, food and drink, animals and plants—or icons that represent emotions, feelings, or activities.

The Emoj.li Premise

Matt Gray & Tom ScottMatt Gray & Tom ScottPreparing to launch, UK-based founders Matt Gray and Tom Scott are believers in the trope, “a picture is worth a 1000 words.” Realizing that those cartoonish icons are being used more often than text to express an idea or humorous slant to a conversation, their social mobile app will task users to communicate only in these images.

The Emoj.li Origins

In it’s simplest form, the network’s official URL of Emoj.li is the mash-up of the comedy social network Yo.com and the Unicode Consortium’s new emojis. As the story goes, the founders tossed around the concept in jest initially. However, when they arrived at the idea that usernames could be emoji as well - after bursting out in laughter - they knew they were on to something that just might have a chance to see the light of day!

Getting the Picture

Gray and Scott’s mission is taking the emoji-chatting trend to the next level. Already widely successful throughout Asia, the monetization opportunities point to lucrative returns which is another motivator for these two Brits.

For instance, from a 3rd party perspective, there are already a good number of ‘digital-sticker’ publishing companies that are striking revenues deals with partners and big brands, and the Japanese messaging app ‘LINE’ sold $157 million worth of digital stickers in the third quarter of 2013, compared to only $10 million a year ago, a 1,500% increase.

Fellow Emojlians, Unite!

For those interested of becoming an early adopter of Emoj.li, you can register with your desktop computer here. However be aware your username must be in emoji as well. This means if you have a Mac, you will also need to have the OS X Mavericks - which is Apple’s latest operating system (as earlier versions do not offer the emoji drop-down box of symbols).  

With OS X Mavericks, the drop-down can be accessed by clicking on Command-Ctrl-Space to add your username’s emoji.

Oh, and also note that this “emoj.li handle” is already taken by your's truly--->

But please do consider searching for it, when you’re looking to add a fellow Emojlian!!!