Excerpt from this article:
…Linguist Gretchen McCulloch described emojis as a new “fourth quadrant” of communication; speech has both formal and informal expressions, and now writing has an informal version. “When we’re communicating by speech, we expect to be able to see the person, to see the emotions and reactions. And it’s the same in emoji. It’s not language but a supplement to language and helps us embody our emotions online,” she said.
What’s the next phase? It could be more centralized tracking of emojis – if a new emoji were added for earthquakes, geo-location services could aggregate real-time news of activity. Advertisers will also try to get in on the trick; it’s not a huge leap of imagination to see McDonald’s golden arches as an emoji. And a predictive emoji keyboard would be a challenge, but will inevitably happen.