Emojis can be an easy shorthand for tone and meaning when texting, messaging, or commenting. But on Discord and Slack, they can be a critical part of communication, depending on the channel or group. Emojis help convey your feelings, even if you can’t see the person face-to-face!
Both Slack and Discord allow you to pick from popular emojis on the platform - and add your own custom or preloaded emojis. Here’s everything you need to know about using emojis in Slack and Discord, no matter the device.
21 Most Popular Discord & Slack Emojis to Check Out:
A Brief History of Emojis
Emojis started out as cute pictures on the Internet, but these digital icons have quickly become the lingua franca of the digital age. These pictures - from 😜 to 🎉 to 💩 - represent the first language born exclusively on the internet, for the internet. In a world of flat text and repetitive letters, emojis add emotional nuance to help people read between the lines. One peer-reviewed study from PLOS ONE found that emojis are an effective way for relationship-oriented digital communication.
How did emojis infiltrate the lexicon? Emojis first came around in 1982 when computer scientist Scott Fahlman suggested that using text-based symbols like 🙂 could replace words in sentences. The earliest emojis? They were actually emoticons. Emoticons are actually pictorial icons made up from punctuation marks, letters, and numbers. The word emoticon actually comes from “emotional icon.”
The initial emoticons didn’t become mainstream until the early 1990s, when Japanese, American, and European companies started experimenting with emojis.
Later, phones started to come with some emojis preset into the keyboard. The actual emoji drawings were first invented in 1999 by Japanese artist, Shigetaka Kurita. The emojis were meant to be for Japanese users, but they quickly caught on.
The use of these emoticons, built into the keyboard, helped people better express themselves and their emotions over text. It can be so easy to misunderstand the emotional intent of a text, and emoticons (and now emojis) helped fix that.
By the early 2000s, mobile providers were already jumping on the bandwagon and introducing their own emojis into their cell phone keyboards. The word emoji actually comes from two different Japanese words, much like emoticon. In this case, emoji comes from the Japanese words “picture” (e) and “character” (moji). It’s a literal take on the word, meaning “picture characters.”
Emojis have since become a hallmark method of communication. They’ve become so synonymous with chatting that, in 2015, 😂 became Oxford Dictionaries’ “Word” of the Year. Today, there are thousands of emojis depicting people in all situations in an effort to represent the diverse world we live in. In fact, studies have found that
Emoji usage has strong dependencies on local and country levels.
In addition, there are hundreds of more emojis to represent the items we interact with on a day-to-day basis: money 💰, prayer beads 📿, Apple Watches⌚, among others. Every year, dozens of new emojis are added to the emoji rolodex so people have new and unique ways of expressing themselves over text.
Where Can You Find Emojis?
Have you ever wondered why some emojis will look different on different devices? Many emojis online are under some type of copyright or licensing, while some, but not all, are free or open source. That’s why you will see the same emoji looks slightly different on Android devices versus iPhone devices.
Both Discord and Slack will pre-load emojis onto their chat platforms to help people communicate better.
Create your own Slack or Discord Emoji here:
Adding an existing emoji to your Slack chat message is simple. On Slack, click the smiley face in your slack chat box and pick your emoji. Slack emojis are grouped into so-called “packs.” You can pick from the following categories: Smileys & People, Animals & Nature, Food & Drink, Travel & Places, Activities, Objects, Symbols, and Flags. In addition, Slack will show you your frequently used emojis so you can access these emojis quickly.
To add an existing emoji to your Discord message, you’ll undergo similar steps. Start by hovering your mouse over the grayed-out Emoji picker button to the right of the text bar. The box of emojis will pop up, and you can pick your emoji from your list - or filter through the list to find your favorite option.
The Most Popular Discord & Slack Emojis
Emojis can be a fun and emotional way to communicate. Though the most popular emojis change over time, many of the top slots are consistently occupied by emojis with faces and hearts. That’s because the most popular sentiments - love, happiness, sadness - don’t really change.
So what popular emojis make the list for Discord and Slack users? Let’s take a look.
1. 😂 Face with Tears of Joy Emoji
The Face With Tears of Joy emoji is one of the most popular emojis on the emoji keyboard. In 2021, the Unicode Consortium confirmed that the Face with Tears of Joy emoji was the most-used emoji of the year. It may be considered a deeply uncool emoji by some, but it continues to reign supreme as the most popular emoji.
A Unicode Consortium study found that 92% of the population across the world uses emojis, and the Face with Tears of Joy Emoji accounts for 5% of that usage.
2. ❤️ Red Heart Emoji
According to Adobe’s World Emoji Day study, the red heart emoji ranked third for the most popular emoji used. Users feel more empathetic towards someone if they use an emoji like the red heart emoji.
3. 😍 Heart Eyes Emoji
This yellow face with an open smile and red, cartoon-styled hearts for eyes remains one of the most popular emojis across all platforms. It conveys feelings of love or infatuation.
4. 😘 Kiss Face Emoji
The Kiss Face emoji is winking with puckered lips, blowing a kiss (or a small, red heart). It’s a cousin to the ever-popular 😉 Winking Face emoji.
5. 🤣 Rolling on the Floor Laughing Emoji
The Rolling on the Floor Laughing emoji is similar to the most-used emoji. This emoji is smiling, crying tears of joy, as if rolling over uncontrollable laughter. It’s used to convey anything that’s extremely hilarious.
6. 😀 Grinning Face Emoji
The grinning face in the Grinning Face emoji depicts joy, happiness, and cheerfulness.
7. 😉 Winking Face Emoji
How many times have you gotten this cheeky emoji? The winking face emoji is a classic pick for both flirtatious and playful situations alike.
8. 😭 Loudly Crying Face Emoji
This yellow face with tears streaming down its cheeks, is a popular pick to show hurt and pain as well as ironic situations. Many people use this face, which shows a face losing its cool, for positive and negative connotations.
9. 😊 Smiling Face with Smiling Eyes
This happy emoji, with smiling eyes and a slight blush, expresses happiness and positive vibes. It can also be used to express how shy, or timid you might be.
10. 💩 Pile of Poo Emoji
The pile of poo emoji is everywhere. How many times have you seen it on throw pillows or bed sheets? This smiling poop’s ability to transcend language barriers and political differences have made it one of the most popular emojis in history.
The poop emoji is based - loosely - on a Japanese cartoon character called Dr. Slump. Dr. Slump became popular in 2011, when Apple added the emoji to its operating system. It’s since infiltrated pretty much every chat platform, including Discord and Slack.
11. 🍑 Peachy emoji
The peachy emoji has become quite popular in the past decade, in part because of its double meaning. This emoji can represent the literal peach fruit, but for many, it has taken on a double meaning: the peachy emoji also represents booty.
In fact, in 2016, Apple attempted to redesign their peachy emoji to resemble a fruit more. But in beta testing, they received fierce backlash. Apple developers ended up reversing their decisions by the time the change went through to the public - leaving the peachy emoji looking more like buttocks than a fruit.
12. 🍆 Eggplant emoji
The eggplant emoji is nothing but a common vegetable, but since its introduction as an emoji, it’s taken on a much more complex meaning. This long, purple eggplant can be used to represent food….but it’s also used to represent male genitalia in many chats.
13. 👍 Thumbs Up Sign Emoji
The Thumbs Up Sign emoji is pretty straightforward, and it means exactly what the description says: a thumbs-up gesture indicating approval.
14. 🙏 Prayer Hands Emoji
The Prayer Hands emoji is a popular pick for many texters and messagers. This emoji, which shows two hands pressed together with the thumbs pointed up, has a variety of meanings. For some, it means extending a greeting, for others, it means a person seeking forgiveness, and for others, it can mean thankfulness. Some even interpret it as a high five.
15. 🥰 Smiling Face With Hearts Emoji
This smiling face, covered in hearts, is often associated with love and happiness. For many uses, it often conveys warm and fuzzy happy feelings, especially feelings of love - or being in love with someone, or something.
16. 🙈 The See No Evil Monkey Emoji
The See No Evil Monkey emoji, also called Mizaru (Japanese for “see not”), is one of three monkey-themed emojis. This emoji is depicted with its hands covering its eyes. It represents the proverb “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” The other monkey emojis are similar representations of the proverb. This emoji is often used in the context of discretion or willful ignorance.
17. 🥳 Face with Party Horn and Party Hat Emoji
This celebratory emoji, dubbed the Face with Party Horn and Party Hat Emoji, is a way to celebrate achievements and momentous occasions in life. It’s often used for events like birthdays, engagements, and New Year’s Eve, for example.
18. 💕 Two Hearts Emoji
The Two Hearts emoji shows two hearts and is used to express love, affection, pleasure, or happiness.
19. 🙄 Face with Rolling Eyes Emoji
If you’ve ever texted your coworkers on Slack about something that annoys you, there’s a good chance you’ve used this emoji. Face with rolling eyes emoji is the most popular way to convey disbelief, annoyance, impatience, or straight disdain. It’s also often used in a sarcastic or ironic tone.
20. 😔 Pensive Face Emoji
This remorseful face is a popular pick for those looking to convey a sad and pensive emotion with their emoji. Most people will use this face to convey a whole range of sad emotions, from disappointment, loneliness, hurt, and more.
21. 🥺 Pleading Face Emoji
Complete with puppy dog eyes and a small frown, this pleading face emoji is all about pleading, begging or beseeching. People may use this emoji with the intent of conveying sadness, guilt, cuteness, and even arousal in different contexts.
How Do We Assign Meaning to Emojis?
Emojis have changed our relationship with symbols as words. Why is it that people use 😂 in place of other smiley faces to express happiness or laughter? Why does 💩 have other meanings besides a pile of poop?
While emojis have become second-nature in our text and chat messages, many people have specific preferences for the types of emojis they use to express certain messages. People interpret emojis in different ways, of course, though many people will opt to use certain popular emojis to illustrate their point.
“The popularity of emojis is linked to their semantic meanings,” said Ai, a graduate student research assistant with the Foreseer Group, a U-M research team that conducts cutting-edge research related to data mining, machine learning and information retrieval. “Emojis with meanings close to popular words are more likely to be used. Emojis with clear and less ambiguous meanings are more likely to be used, and they provide good substitutes to their word counterparts.”
Emojis on Social Media
Emojis have become a critical tool for people communicating on social media as a way to express emotion. People can process visual information in just 13 seconds - sometimes faster - than they would plain text. That’s why tools like photos or emojis can be especially effective on social media platforms. It’s the same reason Facebook swapped out their “like” button for a series of six different emojis.
For some platforms, like Slack or Discord, emojis can become ingrained in the way people communicate. It’s also an effective way for people to increase engagement on their posts. According to one study by Larry Kim, emojis can increase engagement by 25.4% on tweets and 33% on Facebook.
One of the most important parts of using emojis on social media? Risking a misunderstanding. Different emojis mean different things to different people, and context can be critical for everyone to understand what you mean. For example, using emojis on Slack during a work conversation might not be appropriate; meanwhile, using emojis during a casual conversation with your friends on Discord might be completely appropriate.
It’s also crucial to consider other factors when using emojis, like demographics. Baby Boomers, for example, might not fully understand emojis like millennials.
Likewise, businesses can use emojis to better communicate with their customers. For example, IKEA made their very own emoji keyboard to better brand their image and create business-specific images. The WWF made their own emoji keyboard, too, to spread the word around endangered animals.
How to Add Custom Emojis in Slack
Slack allows you to custom upload a variety of different GIFs to their platform as emojis. Uploading custom emojis to Slack is really simple! You can only upload custom emojis to Slack on the desktop version. Follow these easy steps:
- Click the smiley face on the bottom right of the Slack formatting bar
- Click “Add Emoji.”
- Pick your image. Make sure that any square images are under 128KB, sized 128x128 pixels, and saved with a transparent background. PNG files work best! If your image is too big, Slack will resize it.
- Name your new emoji. Your emoji name should be lowercase, and can't contain spaces, periods, or punctuation. The more unique the name, the better.
Once you have uploaded the emoji, you can use the search bar and use it in chats.
How to Add Custom Emojis in Discord
Adding custom emojis in Discord is a simple process, assuming that you have the proper permissions to add them to the server. Discord makes it easy for you, too: they will resize any images of up to 128 by 128 pixels to fit their own required specifications.
It’s important to note that if you don’t have a Discord Nitro account, you can only use custom emojis on the specific server that the emoji has been uploaded to. A paid Nitro account will unlock the ability to use custom emojis across different servers. In addition, you will need a Nitro account to use animated, or GIF, emojis.
Without further ado, here’s how to upload your own emojis:
- Ensure you are using the desktop version of Discord
- Open the server that you want to upload an emoji to.
- Click the down-arrow next to the server’s name in the top left corner of the screen.
- Pick “server settings.”
- Click on “emojis” in the left sidebar, then click “Upload emoji.”
- Pick the emoji image you want to upload, and upload it to the server.
If you do plan to upload custom emojis, beware: you can only upload 50 custom emojis per server, by default. If you do need more custom emojis slots, you will need to reach out to a Discord Nitro account to “boost” your server. Multiple users will have to boost the server before your server is upgraded to 250 custom emojis.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best Discord Emojis?
The best Discord emojis can be downloaded for free on any device from these websites:
What emojis does Discord use?
To expand your Discord chat, you can use Twemoji. The Twemoji emoji library is provided by Twitter. You can use these emojis to react directly to messages. To use these Discord emojis, you need to use the unicode character, not the “text.”
Where can I download emojis for Discord?
You can download emojis for Discord from Discord servers. Follow these easy steps:
Go to Discord on your browser
Open the server from which you want to download an emoji
Right click on the emoji
Select “open image in new tab”
Save the emoji
Is there a Discord emoji?
In Discord, your emoji menu contains standard and Discord-exclusive emojis. In addition, there’s a section with your most-used emojis. You can type in the emoji you want to use or pick from the list.
How do you steal Discord emotes?
To steal Discord emotes, you need to have your own emoji stealing server with owo emoji set. That will enable you to bind the command with the server you typed in. Then, anytime you type owo emoji to view an emoji, you will have the option to steal it.