LONDON: Christmas came early for emoticon-lovers with the addition of avocado, bacon and peanuts last week and according to new research emojis are now more important than words.
A recent poll by British Airways found that 61 per cent of people find the online characters a more meaningful way to communicate than words or text.
The airline can also reveal that three in five adults and a staggering four in five 18 to 35 year olds find the lifestyle icons a better way of conveying emotions and feelings than writing.
British Airways has become the first airline to offer holiday advice to customers using emojis with the launch of a new holiday inspiration tool, which uses Facebook messenger bot technology.
Customers will be able to interact using the picture-based icons, and after answering a series of questions with their favourite emojis, the bot will recommend a holiday destination to suit their personality and mood.
Rob McDonald, British Airways’ head of marketing, said: “Three in five of the people we spoke to said that they find it easier to convey how they are feeling with the use of an emoji, so giving customers the chance to speak to us with them takes choosing a holiday to a much more exciting and engaging level.”
The survey also found that 63 per cent of 18 to 34 year olds use emojis in most or all of their messages, with 39 per cent of those polled and nearly half (46 per cent) of women saying they use emojis to convey feelings, emotion and mood when words won’t do the trick.
The bot has been created especially for British Airways’ Unforgettable Sale which launches today and runs until January 31, and includes discounts on flights and holidays to more than 100 destinations.
Customers will access the bot via British Airways’ Facebook page or via the following link on a phone which already hosts the Facebook messenger app: view here. It will be active for customers to use from December 20 until January 31, 2017.