From IndieWeb

auto-emoji is creating or embedding emoji automatically from a text-based microsyntax, usually the text name of the emoji delimited by colon ':' characters, like :smile: for πŸ˜„ or custom names for custom emoji image embeds in some software and services, and some IndieWeb sites.


IndieWeb Examples

Software Examples

  • Mastodon supports displaying emoji shortcodes in posts automatically as emoji, as well as a dropdown suggesting emoji when you enter a ':' and at least one character of an emoji shortcode into the create post text input area

Service Examples

Most chat or forum related services support automatically converting emoji shortcodes to inline emoji as you are typing, often by providing a dropdown of suggested emoji after typing a ':' from which you can select an emoji, or keep typing and the dropdown is updated.

(needs screenshots of various services typing interface with dropdown of suggested emoji)


microsyntax origins

Hypothesis: the colon delimiting syntax came from auto-converting emoticons which often start with a ':' (like : ) or : D or : P ) into emoji.


Emoji shortcodes are not Markdown

emoji shortcodes are not part of Markdown (there is no mention of emoji in They happen to be supported in many text-entry boxes, some of which also support Markdown (e.g. GitHub), and thus are mistakenly thought of as part of Markdown, or even part of GitHub Flavored Markdown, despite that spec also having no mention of emoji.

See Also