You'd think responding to a friend's text with an emoji would be pretty straight forward — even when used in a way that it probably wasn't originally intended for. (Um, like the eggplant emoji for one...) But a new study says that in reality, emojis don't quite get the message across.


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Researchers at the University of Minnesota asked participants to rate whether certain emojis expressed positive, negative or neutral sentiments, like that wide grinning face for example. What they found was that people did not agree on what the emojis meant. To complicate things even more, the same description of an emoji looks different on an iPhone as opposed to a Samsung, LG and Microsoft phones — and also on Facebook and Twitter. As QZ.com reports, the "grinning face with smiling eyes" looks 17 different ways, depending on what technology is being used.


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With roughly 1300 existing emojis, this new type of way of communicating is developing faster than the agreed upon meanings for the symbols. So if you are texting with someone you don't know too well, it's probably a safer bet to write out what you want to get across.

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