With emojis increasingly showing up in everything from ad campaigns to legal cases, a clear understanding of what the symbols mean — especially across different cultures — has become an in-demand skill. So much so that last year, global firm Today Translations placed an ad for the position of “emoji translator.”
Following a months-long application process that included emoji tests and the drafting of an emoji handbook, the position was given to Irishman Keith Broni.
His qualifications encompass far more than frequent texting. Broni just completed his master’s in business psychology at University College London, where his dissertation was on “the influence that emojis can have in digital context when brands are using them to communicate with potential consumers.”
VICE News spoke to Broni about what exactly an emoji translator does, the problems that can arise when brands use emojis, and how to manage the ever-changing definitions of emojis and their varying uses across cultures.