It’s undeniable that for many people emojis have become a normal – and for some, integral – part of self-expression when texting and messaging with friends. But now, the little icons will have another use, as one travel company introduces emoji searches to its site.
Kayak has introduced ten emoji and city combinations, where travellers can input an emoji and get results for flights to and hotels in a corresponding city. The combos include the Statue of Liberty emoji for New York, a slot machine for Las Vegas and a shamrock for Dublin.
The company has started with ten combos and is now asking travellers to vote on what 15 city and emoji combinations should come next. “As soon as we started assigning emojis to cities, debate over which city should get the pizza, the beer and the baseball emoji began among our team,” said David Solomito, vice-president of North American brand marketing. “We decided to start with emoji combinations that were indisputable and from there, open it up to a public vote to help us decide the next round of emojis to add to Kayak.”
Emojis up for a city match include: Baseball, Pizza, Beer Mug, Rainbow, High-heeled Shoe, Unicorn, the Dancing Woman, Guitar, Taco, Football, Coffee, Tropical Drink, Surfing, Ski/Snowboarding and Hockey. Travellers can vote from four city suggestions for each one, with the opportunity for a write-in vote.
Voting will run until 13 July and the combinations will be revealed on 17 July – World Emoji Day. At that time, the company will also make the country flag emojis searchable, so users can search using more than 270 different emoji. This is only Kayak’s latest innovative search offering. Earlier this year, a feature was launched for users in the US that would make the travel search engine resemble a spreadsheet – so travellers could plan their vacation at their desks undetected.