Being new to Slack can be daunting, especially if you are in a busy team environment. Emojis are a great icebreaker and effective communication tool that you can use for messaging in Slack. Understanding what emojis are and how to add them to your Slack messages can help you let your co-workers know that you’re present and engaged. In this article, we’ll explain how to add emojis to Slack messages, along with helpful tips and examples to get your messages just right.
What is an emoji?
Emojis or emoticons are small pictures or icons that can you can embed alongside or in place of text in electronic communications They have exploded in popularity and adoption in recent years despite existing for over 20 years.
These cute smileys and pictograms were first available on Japanese mobile phones but have since been added to major operating systems, and, of course, Slack! Their utility comes from their ability to replace information, context, or emotional cues that may be missing from a written message.
Emojis are diverse. They range from classic ‘smileys’ that convey facial expressions to everyday objects, weather symbols, and national flags. Slack fully supports Universal Coded Character Set (Unicode) emojis and you can also create custom emojis and use them in your Slack account.
Great benefits of using emojis in Slack
Emojis are the currency of remote, agile, or scrum working in Slack. You certainly do not need to be a millennial to use them! Emojis are popular and have proven to be an effective way of relating to others digitally. Here are 5 great reasons to add a liberal sprinkling of emojis to your messaging on Slack:
1. Keeps team members engaged
A liberal sprinkling of emojis spices up mundane, routine communications on Slack. It’s easy for feeds to become a little stale, with remote workers tuning out. Emojis can add emphasis to your messages and keep the lively. This can help workers stay switched on and even boost productivity as a team becomes more responsive.
2. Lets your team know you are at your desk
Dropping emojis is an effective way of communicating that you are present in team communications. Letting the team know you are actively working and participating is vital if you want to keep and grow in a remote-working job. This is because, despite their simplicity, they are remarkably effective at conveying that you have understood (or not) what is going on.
3. Communicates a response quickly
The expressive nature of image-based emojis means they can replace words and add expression to your communications. A visual response quickly shows a team member you have understood the information that they have shared. This means in a fast-moving Slack environment, you can keep up with the conversation by abbreviating your responses to one or more emojis.
4. Can take the pressure of an unfamiliar or tense remote-working environment
Emojis are informal and fun. They can take the edge off a pressured working environment. Joining a new team on Slack can intimidate you, but emojis provide a great way to reach out and respond to your colleagues. When everyone is fighting a deadline or they have made mistakes, the judicious use of emojis can really lift the mood.
How to add emojis to Slack messages, with photos
Emojis are a fun and fast way to enhance your Slack messages. If you’re new to Slack or looking to loosen up and relate to your coworkers you can add emojis in Slack using the emoji code or by selecting one from the dedicated menu. Here is how to add emojis to your Slack messages:
How to add emojis to your Slack messages by typing the emoji code:
Most emojis have shortcodes that you can add to your text to bring up the icons. You may be familiar with the smiley shortcodes like 🙂 for 🙂, or 😉 for 😉. Using Slack’s emjoi codes is much quicker than searching for individual icons. Here’s how to do it:
Step one: Write your message
You can write your Slack message wherever you need to on the platform. Some people find it easier to write their text messages and then add relevant emojis, but it’s perfectly fine to add relevant emojis as you write.
Step two: Type the emoji code for the emoji you want to add
Slack recognizes shortcodes for the common emojis and will render them automatically if you use the right combination of keys as you write.
If you use emojis frequently, it is easy to learn the shortcodes you need as they are either words surrounded by colons or key combinations. Here are 10 popular emoji shortcodes on Slack:
- : and ) gives you :slightly_smiling_face: 🙂
- ; and ) gives you 😉 😉
- = and ) gives you :smiley: 😀
- : and o gives you :mouth_open: 😮
- < and B gives you :heart: ❤️
- 8 and ) gives you :sunglasses: 😎
- ; and p gives you :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: 😜
- D and : gives you :anguished: 😧
- : and o and ) gives you :monkey_face: 🐵
- : and / gives you :confused: 😕
Step three: Press the spacebar for the emoji to appear
When you press the spacebar the emoji will appear. Press the spacebar again to continue typing or hit the return key to send your message.
Search for and add emojis to your Slack messages by selecting emojis from the menu
Slack has a vast range of emojis you can add to your messages. If you want to hit the right note with your selection, it’s very simple to search the entire collection of over 2600 (and counting) supported emojis. The menu is quick and easy to use on desktops and smartphones, Here is how to search for the right emoji for your message:
Step one: Click on the smiley face at the bottom-left of your text field
You can access the emoji menu by clicking on the grey and white smiley face icon at the bottom-left of the screen. You’ll find it between the mention (@) and audio buttons. If you’ve got the right button, it will turn yellow and become animated, and the word ‘emoji’ will appear above it.
Step two: Scroll through the emojis to select the one you want to use
Select an emoji from the menu by picking one from the frequently used section or scrolling through the entire catalog which spans:
- Getting Work Done
- Smileys and People
- Animals and Nature
- Food and Drink
- Travel and Places
- Custom Emojis
Step three: Alternatively, you can search for a specific emoji by typing a relevant keyword at the top of the menu.
Use the search bar at the top of the emoji menu to search for a specific emoji by keyword. Click on the best match in the results to add it to your message or use it as a reaction.
Use emojis to react to your Slack messages
If you are in a fast-moving conversation on Slack, you can use emojis to react to messages instead of writing words. This is useful for group messages left on the main feed. Here is how to react with emojis on Slack:
Step one: Click on existing emoji reactions you agree with
When a Slack user posts a message in one of your feeds, you will see other emoji reactions from your team members beneath the message. If you agree with the reactions that others have shared, all you need to do is click on the emojis to add your reaction.
If you hover over the reactions, Slack lists the names of the team members who have reacted above the emoji.
Step two: Add your own emoji by clicking on the emoji icon beneath the message
You can also add a new reaction by clicking on the small grey and white emoji with a plus sign to the right of the existing reactions. Hovering over this icon will cause it to turn yellow and show the label Add reaction. Clicking on the icon opens up the emoji menu.
You can also add customized emojis to Slack
Customized emojis are great for standing out on Slack or building a team identity. You can create and add your own emoji designs to the library of icons in Slack. When you do this, the whole team can use the emoji! Here are the steps to add your own emojis to Slack:
Step one: Create or select an emoji image to upload to Slack
You can make a completely new emoji or add an existing design that is not in the Slack emoji collection. Images you choose to upload must have the following characteristics:
- Maximum size of 128 KB.
- Maximum image dimensions 128px by 128px.
- JPG, PNG, or GIF format.
- GIFs should have less than 50 frames.
- Transparent backgrounds.
Step two: Open the emoji menu
Click on the smiley face icon at the bottom of your messages to open the emoji menu. This is where you can add your custom emoji. Head to the Frequently used section.
Step three: Click on Add emoji and upload your image file
Click on the Add emoji option in the Frequently Used section. This will then show the Upload image. Click on Upload image to open your folders for uploading the custom emoji image file. Select the file you want to upload.
Step four: name your emoji and click save to upload it.
Once you have uploaded your emoji, enter its name in the Give it a name section and then click Save.
Check out this informative video tutorial on how to seamlessly incorporate emojis into your Slack conversations. Elevate your communication game and make your messages pop with just a few simple steps. Watch the video now to become an emoji maestro on Slack!
Did you know you can manage your emoji preferences on Slack?
Along with custom emojis, you can further personalize your emoji use by managing your preferences. Slack support additional features including:
Personalized default skin tone: you can alter this in the emoji menu by clicking the hand image in the bottom right corner of the menu.
One-click reactions: set up one-click reactions that allow you to select one of three default responses to any messages you receive. You can do this in the Preferences section of the main menu accessed via your image.
Display preferences: In the Preferences section of the main menu you can change the size of emojis you use or display emojis in your messages as Unicode or plain text.
They may seem light-hearted and fun, but emojis are a key productivity tool that helps teams communicate more effectively. If you’re still hesitant to use them, why not start with a simple smiley face and experiment from there? You’ll be speaking fluent emoji in no time!
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Darko 1981/Shutterstock.com.