A picture paints a thousand words: Today is World Emoji Day

LISTEN: Eight out of 10 people use the symbols to communicate

A picture paints a thousand words: Today is World Emoji Day

Emoji, also known as 'emoticons', being used on an iPhone 4s | Image: Jonathan Brady / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Do you use emojis? You're not alone - some six billion of them are sent every single day.

And now it has its own day to celebrate, as today marks World Emoji Day.

A recent study carried out in the UK found that eight out of 10 people use the symbols and icons to communicate.

It is thought that emoji is the fastest growing language in the UK.

The first emoji was reportedly created in the late 1990s in Japan for a mobile Internet platform.

In 1997, French man Nicolas Loufrani started experimenting with animated smiley faces.

He compiled an online dictionary, which was then sorted into separate categories - moods, expressions, flags, celebrations, weather, etc.

Now these symbols are used by millions of people every day to say things in pictures.

Vyv Evans is a professor of linguistics at Bangor University in Wales.

He told Newstalk Breakfast they allow people to better express themselves.