Emoji are “ideograms and smileys used in electronic messages.” They started out as a few yellow faces (😀☹️😢…), and then proliferated into the hundreds (🎃🧟♂️🐢🍭…) found on our smartphones today. They have become a pop culture slang language.
We have found emoji to be surprisingly helpful for building community. Emoji make it possible to say a lot with a single click. When somebody posts a message to Slack, others in the community can quickly respond with a “reaction emoji”. This makes it easier to for everybody to participate in the midst of our busy lives, and it gives people more immediate feedback and a sense of mutual presence.
So, if you are not yet fluent in emoji, you might enjoy taking a closer look and experimenting.
To add a reaction to a message, just click on the “add reaction” button, and they will accumulate on the bottom of the message, like so:
(Looks slightly different on mobile)
To see who reacted to a message, either hover the mouse over the emoji on desktop, or long-press the emoji on mobile.
See Emoji Reactions in Slack Help for more.