Instagram introduces emoji search
Instagram will now let you use emoji in your hashtags, creating a whole new way to find the pictures most relevant to you.
Hashtags can now include single or multiple emoji, or a combination of emoji and text.
"Over the past few years, emoji have become part of a universal visual language, and nearly half of Instagram captions already feature an emoji," an Instagram spokesperson said.
Developed for use in Japanese SMS messages, emoji have become enormously popular for peppering texts, tweets and other messages with the colourful icons, depicting a wide range of emotions, food and animals.
More than 300 new emoji were made available to iOS users earlier this month, the majority of which added five new skin tones to the face, hands and bodies characters.
"People all over the world want to have emoji that reflect more human diversity, especially for skin tone," the Unicode Consortium, which develops emoji, said last November. "The Unicode emoji characters for people and body parts are meant to be generic, yet following the precedents set by the original Japanese carrier images, they are often shown with a light skin tone instead of a more generic (inhuman) appearance, such as a yellow/orange colour or a silhouette."
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen is the celebrity user most enamoured of the pictograms, Instagram said, followed by fellow models Alessandra Ambrosio and Rosie Huntington Whiteley.
The top 10 emoji currently used within Instagram captions globally include the crying with laughter face, 'OK' hand gesture and the blowing-a-kiss face.