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2015 hailed ‘year of the emoji’ as products like Kimoji help boost mobile app use by 58%

Europe has experienced “astonishing app growth” over the past twelve months thanks to the unstoppable rise of emojis says Yahoo’s Flurry

Mobile apps usage grew by 58 per cent overall in 2015 in Europe, led by a mammoth increase in the use of personalisation apps such as emoji keyboards.

Research by Yahoo's mobile analytics firm Flurry has revealed that personalisation apps saw their sessions balloon by more than 344 per cent in 2015, with the majority of growth coming from emoji products.

The study examined usage from 2014-2015 by recording sessions across various app categories, usage was logged each time a user opened an app.

Several brands cashed on the emoji trend in 2015, allowing users to share customised emoticons on platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and Snapchat. Dove launched a curly haired icon as part of its ‘Real Beauty’ campaign, while the Dogs Trust employed a suite of canines to help find homes for unwanted dogs.

The triple digit boost for apps in this category was aided by celebrities such as One Direction and Kim Kardashian West – whose 'Kimoji’ app skyrocketed to top spot on Apple’s App Store on the day of its release.

News and magazine apps were another key contributor to the app use surge, clocking up an increase of 135 per cent over the past 12 months and signaling a shift in media consumption from TV to mobile.

Following close behind were productivity apps, which noted a 119 per cent boost to sessions in 2015 as more consumers switched from desktop to mobile to access email, calendars and instant messaging services.

The ‘tears of joy’ emoticon was dubbed Word of the Year by the Oxford Dictionary in 2015 and the trend is showing no signs of settling down in the next year.

Reports have been circulating that Twitter is set to replace its heart icon with multi-emoji reactions, while Snapchat recently allocated custom emojis to celebrities to make it easier to search for their stories on the apps Discovery platform.

Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is The Drum's breaking news and social media reporter, covering how brands and media companies are using platforms like Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and beyond.

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