Following the natural progression of digital communication and proving that hashtags are far from dead, Instagram announced that users can now hashtag emoji.
"Over the past few years, emoji have become part of a universal visual language. And just as we share photos and videos, we use emoji to communicate emotions and feelings in ways that anyone can understand, regardless of language or background. With emoji hashtags, you can discover even more by adding them to your own photos and videos, searching them on the Explore page and tapping on them when you see them in captions.” – via Instagram.
It makes perfect sense for a highly visual platform to allow users to hashtag their favorite form of visual expression. Now it's a race to see which brands accounts and companies will claim relevant emoji hashtags first. McDonald's has a clear leg up with the all-but-golden-arches branded french fries. Chips Ahoy FINALLY has something Oreo doesn't. Will Tiffany's rock the diamond? Who will hit the nail on the head with #🔨 ⎯ Lowes or Home Depot?
As of now, Instagram has only banned one emoji ⎯ 🍆 ⎯ over "Eggplant Friday" concerns that it would be used to tag NSFW images of the male anatomy. Really? The eggplant? I always go for the banana. Also, the straight up obscene 🍑 remains searchable... for now.