So many communication platforms convert expressions like

  • c:
  • :)
  • ]:)

etc. into emojis, e.g. 😀,🙂,😈.

I find this so annoying every time it happens. If I want to send an emoji, I will just send the emoji.

The text faces are often cuter, less garish, and what I (and every single one of my friends) intends.

What's the incentive for companies to make these automatic substitutions?

Companies pay someone to implement this "feature", I wonder what the research is that claims most users like having their messages manipulated as they send them.

All I can find are people ranting about it, and posts online of people asking how to stop these automatic substitutions.

So yeah, why is it good user experience (or at least, why is it so commonplace) to swap out the user's emoticons with emoji?

  • "All I can find are people ranting about it, and posts online of people asking how to stop these automatic substitutions." - This could also be a case of a loud minority. It could very well be that most people are neutral to happy about it and just don't post about it. The plus side of emoticons is that they're much faster and easier to recognize than a more abstract image like :^) or >:( it's a lot of speculation on the exact reasons companies do this precisely, but it most likely ties in with recognition and self expression (skin color emoticons). Commented Sep 3, 2018 at 11:13

1 Answer 1


There are certain text editors that companies prefer to use other than they spend time to create their owns.

Like most of the computer technology related platforms choose to embed markdown language into their editors like stackexchange does, the web apps you mentioned prefer to implement the editors that uses this feature.

Whether it demonstrates good or bad experience as a user is a different question I suppose but the only one editor I used to work with is CKEditor for example and it’s really buggy for my product.

It’s not easy to write an editor or even implement it from scratch. So eventually, they all might prefer the same one or the ones all using the same feature probably.

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