Apple just released a series of multi-racial emoticons but Alpesh Patel, the CEO of African-based emoji company Oju Africa, thinks Apple missed the mark. “Look at their new emoticons — it’s all about skin colour,” he told Vice’s Motherboard. “Diversity is not about skin colour — it’s about embracing the multiple cultures out there that have no digital representation.” His compay’s selection offers a wide range of images. (Some pictured here.)
Apple’s new ones are meant to increase diversity. (Some pictured here.)
But whatever you think of the new offerings in emoticons–the fact is they are used to convey a lot of messages and marketers need to be paying them more attention.
InMoji, Inc., a company that connects consumers with their favorite brands through peer-to-peer, in-message, “powered” Inmoji, today announced it has secured $1 million in seed funding. Funding was led by startup evangelist and former Paypal Media COO David Chang and included participation from Paypal’s StartTank in Boston, Atlas Venture and other undisclosed investors.
Walmart, DraftKings, Drizly and Sol Republic are among the top tier brands that rely on Inmoji to share in-message customized content. Inmoji lets brands become part of consumers’ text conversations by providing rich-media experiences delivered via in-message clickable icons. These “powered” Inmoji can monetize messages, reach large audiences, and capture critical sentiment data while connecting consumers and brands in authentic ways that drives engagement and loyalty. With Inmoji, consumers can send music and movie clips, coffee, gifts or location information in a fun and convenient way. Brands benefit from InMoji’s customizable platform by giving the power to engage in a way that resonates specifically with their target audiences. Inmoji also aims to provide a wealth of insights into users’ trends and behaviors that could prove valuable for brand marketers. (Inmoji are “powered” clickable icons that enable users to share their favorite brands, products, and experiences directly within messaging apps. Simply tap an Inmoji to access content without ever leaving the message.)
David Chang, startup evangelist who recruited InMoji into Paypal’s StartTank commented, “InMoji has experienced tremendous growth and is poised to become the most trusted source for helping brands connect with consumers in an authentic and meaningful way. I’m impressed with InMoji’s talented team of industry veterans and their category-leading technology that makes them well positioned to take advantage of the considerable market opportunity in the mobile messaging space.”
Inmoji also creates new revenue streams for app developers and messaging platforms without added development costs. TextPlus is the first of many app developers and publishers to deploy Inmoji in their messaging platform to further monetize their audience. InMoji will be announcing several additional messaging application partners in the near future.
“InMoji is transforming the way marketers think about engaging customers,” said Michael Africk, co-founder and chief executive officer of InMoji. “This additional financing allows us to continue to grow and advance our product and business around the globe.” InMoji co-founder and chief operating officer Perry Tell continued, “As billions of consumers are connecting on messaging apps worldwide, Inmoji is improving how brands can interact organically with messaging technology.”
Earlier this year, InMoji launched its software offerings for both iOS and Android. Inmoji integrates with almost any messaging app—including social networking, dating and gaming and seeks to open up new revenue streams for messaging platforms and app developers.