Emojis are quickly becoming a new form of language, and can now be used to actually order food — thanks to a new app called Fooji.
Emojis are smileys and ideograms that smartphone users can text to one another. As a picture is worth 1,000 words, emojis can be used to succinctly articulate complex ideas and emotions easily. For example, the gaping mouth emoji can be used to show just how hungry a smartphone user is.
Consequently, smartphone users have started using emojis as pseudo-hieroglyphics, and have innovated their usage. Now, there are emoji art exhibitions, and emoji music videos. The Library of Congress even accepted Emoji Dick in 2013, a translation of Herman Melville’s classic into emoji.
Linguistic scholars, however, would hesitate to call emoji a language. Sure, there are over 800 different emojis now, but a proficient reader and writer of Japanese is able to recognize about 2,000 different kanji, combining them to produce a vocabulary of some 10,000 words.
However, it seems that emojis have taken a step towards becoming a genuine language thanks to a new app called Fooji. The creative agency start-up will deliver a meal based off of any food emoji a customer tweets.
The idea came to founders Gregg Morton and Erik Zamudio after they spent an hour trying to figure out where to order a sandwich from. Too many options made it difficult to choose. Zamudio told Eater that the two then joked about “how nice it would be if we could just send one tweet, one emoji, and get the food we wanted.”
And lo, Fooji was born.
To use Fooji, a smartphone user creates an account, and links it to their Twitter handle. Then, all they’d do is tweet an emoji of whatever food they wanted — pizza, burgers, sushi — and Fooji takes care of the rest. It selects a local restaurant that serves that particular type of food, picks an option, and has it delivered to the user’s door.
“Since there is no description included in the tweet, we pick a meal from a top rated local restaurant to represent an emoji once a week,” said Zamudio. “We like to boast that we’re an adventurous foodie’s dream.”
Each meal costs $15, and customers have no control over where the food comes from. There’s also no way to customize an order, which means a user will just have to take their pickles off of their burger when they get it, as opposed to requesting that the burger come without them.
Obviously, the “menu” is limited to whatever food emojis are officially available, but the options are set to expand. Last week, Unicode, which develops emojis, announced there’d be 38 new ideograms coming next year, including such food emojis as an avocado, bacon, and a croissant.
Fooji will launch later this month in New York City, eventually expanding to other cities as soon as it can.