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Social Media



ACM Transactions on Social Computing

Special Issue on Emoji Understanding and Applications in Social Media

With the rise of social media, emoji have become an extremely popular form of communication. They are equally popular across major social media sites including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. As of 2017, Facebook and Facebook Messenger process over 60 million and 6 billion messages with emoji per day, respectively. In 2015, Instagram reported that nearly half of the photo comments posted on Instagram contain emoji and Instagram users tend to replace slang terms using emoji in photo comments. Emoji data generated on social media sites have been utilized to study how emoji are used across different languages, cultures, user communities, and as features to learn machine learning models to solve problems that span across many applications, including sentiment analysis, emotion analysis, and sarcasm detection. The ability to automatically process, derive meaning, and interpret text fused with emoji will be essential as society embraces emoji as a standard form of online communication.

This special issue seeks original research manuscripts dealing with computer and social science research efforts on understanding social, cultural, communicative, and linguistic roles of emoji and on building novel computational methods to understand, interpret, and exploit them. We encourage contributions on the challenges in emoji understanding and on applications that add to the scientific understanding, including but not limited to the following research topics:

  • Challenges in interpreting the meaning of an emoji in a message context
  • Novel methods for emoji sense disambiguation
  • Novel methods for calculating emoji similarity
  • Novel methods for emoji prediction
  • Challenges in using emoji as a language
  • Emoji's effects on the evolution of language constructs used on social media such as emoticons and slang terms
  • Common emoji usages in social media
  • Cultural and community-specific emoji meaning evolution and interpretation
  • Why emoji meanings change over time and across communities?
  • Distinct social and communicative roles of emoji
  • How do people come to understandings of the meanings of the emoji?
  • Understanding sender intention and receiver interpretation of emoji
  • Emoji rendering and interface design challenges
  • Applications of emoji in social media
  • Role of emoji in social media analysis tasks such as sentiment, emotion, and intent detection
  • Research related to other pictorial representations such as emoticons, kaomoji, emotes, customized emoji (e.g., bitmoji), and animated gifs
  • Emoji and the law

We encourage submissions that utilize quantitative, qualitative and mixed research methods to approach the above challenges as contributions. Submissions must be original and should not have been published previously or be under consideration for publication while being evaluated for this special issue. Submissions will be evaluated by the special issue editors based on the quality of the work and its fit to the special issue themes.

Guest Editors

  • Sanjaya Wijeratne — Kno.e.sis Center, Wright State University, Dayton, USA
  • Emre Kiciman — Information and Data Sciences Group, Microsoft Research AI, Redmond, USA
  • Horacio Saggion — Dept. of Information and Communication Technologies, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
  • Amit Sheth — Kno.e.sis Center, Wright State University, Dayton, USA


All submissions should use the latest ACM templates available at for formatting. A high-resolution PDF of the paper should be uploaded to the submission site at before the paper submission deadline, selecting "Emoji Understanding and Applications in Social Media Special Issue" as the manuscript type. Details of the journal and manuscript preparation are available at

Important Dates

Paper Submission: November 30th, 2018 (23:59 Hawaii Time).
Notification of First Review: February 8th, 2019.
Submission of Revised Manuscript: April 12th, 2019 (23:59 Hawaii Time).
Notification of Final Acceptance: May 31st, 2019.

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