Emoticons are picturized or animated images of emotions. They can be used to express users' feelings in messenger chats or social media posts. According to Kakao, South Korea's web service giant, an average of some 29 million users purchased emoticons monthly in 2023.
Data released by Kakao, the operator of messenger app Kakao Talk, showed that about two million people are subscribed to a special emoticon plan that provides unlimited access to emoticons. Emoticons were first introduced to Kakao Talk in 2011 and about 600,000 emoticons were released as of November 2023. During the last 12 years, users sent a total of 260 billion emoticons.
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