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BlackBerry Brings It: The Hot Dog Emoji

BBM / 07.30.14 / Matthew Talbot

The people have spoken, and they want an emoji shaped like a hot dog. Finally, BlackBerry has an answer to the outcry and longing that #hotdogemoji has come to represent.

Emojis are crazy popular. They’re those pictograms available in messaging apps—and on some operating systems—you can use to jazz up your chats and emails.


It’s not hard to understand why. The old adage sums it up: A picture is worth a thousand words. Emojis make it faster and easier to tell someone how you’re feeling.

They’re the next-generation of emoticons, the text-based smiley faces we’ve been using in email for years, like 🙂 smiling, 😉 winking, 😦 frowning, etc. Emojis include a 3-D version of every emoticon, plus hundreds of others, plus numbers, flowers, animals, signs, symbols and food among many, many others. See them all at the Emojipedia.

Emojis originated in Japan, so they represent Japanese cuisine, with sushi, a rice ball, a bowl of ramen and many more. They’re international enough to include pizza and spaghetti. There’s even a hamburger and French fries.

But no hot dog. BBM_Emoticons_194_HotDog

Laura Ustick, 3rd-generation owner of Chicago’s Superdawg Drive-In, noticed the glaring omission and started a hot dog emoji campaign, chronicled by the Wall Street Journal, New Yorker and Mashable (where Oscar Meyer chipped in with a video featuring its hot-dog-shaped car, the Weinermobile). Ustick’s campaign also spawned the Hot Dog Emoji Coalition Facebook page, the hashtag #hotdogemoji and an online petition.

Champions of the cause were disappointed once again when the Unicode Consortium, which decides what gets included in the emoji character set, announced an additional 250 emoji last month. The new emoji did not include a hot dog.

We’ve been following the drama at BBM, and decided to step forward and deliver the goods. No Ivory Tower here. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve served up the hot dog emoji.

With mustard, no less. Find it in your BBM.

And that’s not all. We’ve made a habit of crowdsourcing our emoji. Of the many we’ve added this year to BBM 2.0, many ideas came from our fans’ suggestions via the BBM Facebook page.

As mobile messaging continues to make the world smaller, I imagine we’ll all become more fluent in emoji. They do have the advantage of being universally understood between speakers of different languages.

In fact, how’s your emoji-ese? Test yourself by trying to guess these titles of great literature translated into emoji. If you’re feeling pretty confident, there’s always Emoji Dick, an emoji version of Herman Melville’s classic Moby Dick, which the US Library of Congress accepted into its collection last year.

So now that we have the hot dog emoji, we need to use it. Aside from messaging what we’re having for dinner, I wanted to leave you with these additional suggestions:

Hot dog =
• Your pet that has overheated
• Someone who is showing off
• An expression of appreciation and wonder

Matthew Talbot

About Matthew Talbot

I am the Senior Vice President - Emerging Solutions at BlackBerry. I have extensive International Management, Sales and Marketing background in Mobility and Cloud technologies, Financial Services, Telecommunications, and Content in both a “Start-Up” and Public company environment. This includes stints as a senior executive at SAP, Sybase, Mobile 365 and others.