Custom Twitter emojis: stop with the hashflags

Let me start with this: I love using emojis. I really do. I abuse them a lot in my texts with friends and nothing expresses my excitement over something better than a long line of the dancing lady emoji. However, we need to stop and talk about these Twitter emojis that have been crowding up Twitter feeds like unwelcome, gaudy accessories.


You may have noticed more and more emojis popping up in your Twitter feed, but this time they’re tacked on as part of a hashtag. They also have a name: hashflags. They’re not part of your regular emoji library often appear during topical events; if you were tweeting about the #supermoon last weekend, I’m sure that you noticed them.

supermoon

One of the first times that these started to pop up into feeds was back when Star Wars released the trailer for The Force Awakens. Twitter joined forces to provide a custom emoji with some of the Star Wars-related hashtags that were being used around the release. At that time, they were cute! It was new and not your typical emoji. Then there were country emojis tied into hashtags for sporting events, which adds a little national pride when cheering for your team. That wasn’t terrible either.

Then Coke came along and became the first brand to get their own custom emoji. It’s built-in product placement within Twitter. Good for Coke for beating Pepsi at the emoji game, but stay out of my Twitter feed.

It snowballed last weekend when people were tweeting about the Pope visiting America, American football, Scandal, the supermoon, and a bunch of other popular topics that had all suddenly gained a custom Twitter emoji. Twitter became a mess of emojis and these additional icons mess with the overall readability when scrolling through tweets. Many of the most talked about events and shows were being annoyingly represented by hashtags and icons everywhere. Are we reaching peak emoji?

It’s becoming way too much. These are just a few of the hashflags that are active right now:

hashflags-everywhere

Can’t I just talk about Scandal without having an emoji version of Olivia and Fitz tacked on the end of it? Besides, an Olivia Pope-themed emoji should clearly be a glass of red wine and popcorn. Please just make it stop already, before Twitter is completely overtaken by this obtrusive use of emojis.

Brittany is a Digital Marketing Coordinator at 88 Creative. You can argue about hashflags with her on Twitter here.