Emoji Keyboard App Development: Enhance Your App With A Personal Brand Signature

Updated 28 Aug 2023

9 Min




Emoji reflects the change of not only the communication behavior between people, but also it brings serious changes in the business field. According to the poll conducted by The Atlantic, 76% of Americans noted that they used emojis in business communication. Majority of the world companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Starbucks, and Disney develop their own emojis for customers. And such popular emoji app like MuvMoji gets about USD 4 million of profit. And everything listed directly relates to the business. Research shows that entrepreneurs get more interactions with their users by using emojis. 

But before we go deeply into the subject of why mobile application development services for creating an emoji keyboard is a good idea for the startup, and how it can be applied in business, let's find out more about statistical research.

Why emojis and stickers lead to profitable business

Emojis turned out to be a part of social media and messengers long ago, and today you need to add your own emojis without hesitation if you plan to create an app. Popularity and demand for this functional capability are displayed in some statistical data. For example, a major part of Instagram users applies emojis in their apps, according to Quintly analytics. Instagram messages that contain emoji are perceived in a positive way, and they make it possible for users express their emotions in a full way. 20% of permanent users of messengers confirm that emojis was an extremely important feature when they chose a specific messenger.

See more about the most popular UI trends. Read UI Design Trends in 2023!

Another way of emoji application is the business and it's marketing side. let's see some example how serious brands are building emoji and use them in business:

  • Domino's pizza - use emoji to order pizza;
  • Chevrolet gave to the public the press release composed of emoji and the bravest persons can try to decrypt it; 
  • Users want to have not only large diversification and a wide range of emojis but also smileys that can be their reflection. Some brands already use emoji smileys, these brands are Burger King, Pepsi, Taco Bell. Twitter charges about USD 1 million per one company for emoji customization for their business, their customers were Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Starbucks, and Disney.  
best emoji keyboard app for android

Companies use their branded emojis

And users still want to have as many emojis as possible. And the USA users are the ones who prefer using emojis most of all. Apart from this, they voted for the availability of subcategories of emoji (for instance, not only dog emoji but also different breeds of dogs, not only coffee but selection of different drinks).

It is a reasonable ground why you need to know how to make an emoji app, isn't it?

Before we will provide you with the guide to your own app development, we offer you to consider the best emoji keyboard apps. If we understand their secrets and strategy, it will give us a hint how to create an emoji app. 


Emoji> - is the iOS keyboard app that has more than 50 million users. It contains many alternatives to emojis and stickers that can be used for communication with friends and relatives. How does it work? All emojis are personalized (as well as stickers) and they make it possible to create a unique communication.

how to create emoji keyboard

Emoji> app in iMessage

Discover everything about iPhone X design. Read Designing for iPhone X: tips to create a great looking application.


This app also allows you to build personalized emojis. In fact, it makes it possible to build an avatar of your own and get the stickers with your images. Bitmoji app gives users the opportunity to use emoji symbols created by you in iOS apps, such as iMessage and Snapchat, in the process of messaging. By the way, Snapchat acquired Bitstrips - the company next to Bitmoji - for USD 100 million in March 2016. Thus, you can create a Bitmoji app analog but add some new features to it. 

create a bitmoji

Bitmoji app makes it possible to create personalized avatars

Fleksy + GIF Keyboard

Fleksy + GIF Keyboard is a customizable iOS and Android app that supports GIFs. Fleksy has integrated extensions for shortcut keys, cursor control, stickers, as well as tooltips. Fleksy + GIF Keyboard app contains more than 40 free themes in the app.

android add emoji to keyboard

Fleksy+GIF app to improve your communicaton style

Well, we defined that messengers use emoji keyboard predominantly, it offers unique smileys or stickers, or emoji brand, and also it has a larger variability. And now, let's think about the development process. Should we create a separate app or it is better to think about customization of ready-made solutions?

Create the app or integrate existing solutions

Do you still have a large intention to create your app? Learn the solutions that will be your assistants on the way to your app development. 

Emoji keyboard app can be divided into 2 types:

  • It is a standard app for devices that work on iOS or Android;
  • Or you can create your own emojis that will be available only in supported messengers like Viber, iMessage, WhatsApp, for example. In 2016, iMessages opened the access to other developers, so you can add emoji to keyboard of other messengers and use custom emojis from iMessage. 
emoji development

The number of people in US that use mobile messengers

A hint of Cleveroad: if you need to have the emojis of your own brand, you'd better arrange the launch of your emoji kit with the marketing campaign. Like Starbucks did with it's new drinks. 

The first type

Since any app has it's own niche, we think it necessary to find your target audience that will use stickers and emoji. In order to do it wisely, let's divide users into the following groups:

Admirers and celebrities

Apps that contain stickers and emoji with celebrities. Remember the real popularity of Bieber or Gaga stickers.

Learn about the necessity of good prototype for your app. Read Why a prototype can ensure a successful start of an app development

Users of specific platforms

Bitmoji that was acquired by Snapchat serves as a good example.

Seasonal/event-related emoji

For example, it can be emoji related to New Year or Thanksgiving day or stickers or business emoji.

Those who like a wide range of emojis

It is worth noting that not so long ago both Apple and Android didn't take into account large diversification of emoji. But now there are many smileys for people with different skin color or disabled people.

After you selected a segment, you will need a team of developers that know exactly how to create your own emoji app keyboards for all mainstream operating systems. Although iOS app will become the most applicable alternative for your future success. 

What is Snapchat app and how much does it take to develop it? Watch our video below:

How much does it cost to develop Snapchat app?

Development for Android phones requires not so many efforts. Your smileys can be turned into a keyboard, so you won't have a question how to create your own emoji app. To be honest, Android app will not be a better option if you want to increase your revenue quickly. On the other hand, considering a global coverage of platform and large user database, we cannot state that it is impossible. Besides that, you will be able to select advertising or other ways of monetization of your app.

Data confidentiality. Despite the fact emoji keyboard apps can become a good way for gathering additional data about users, you need to take into account all data confidentiality issues. the matter is that a free access to all personal information will not make your app more attractive. So don't request full access to user's keyboard to avoid any troubles. Explain to users why you need it, and the way you will use and store this data. Specify that you won't gather personal data from customers. The best way is to add a screen with permission request that will clarify main regulations. 

The second type

This type is less complicated. Furthermore, some supported messengers are available as open-source apps. That is, all developers can easily deploy users extensions of messengers to create their own app. For example, as we mentioned above, iMessage is an example. At the same time, iOS operating system has some restrictions. For instance, it is impossible to mix users' emojis with standard emojis. We recommend you to get acquainted with formats and sizes of your images to understand how to add custom emojis to iPhone or Android smartphones.

User keyboard in iPhone X. It is important to note that if you need to develop a user keyboard, you don't need to add emoji buttons additionally as well as dictation buttons. They are located by default near Home button. 

Additional tools: APIs and ready-made libraries

As we already mentioned before, some resources let us create our own emoji keyboard, particular smileys, and stickers. Besides that, consider to add such service like face recognition technology. It's role is to animate emoji in new iPhone X.

We cannot ignore a really outstanding invention that was presented by Apple this year - Animoji (animated emojis). Animated emoji imitate the mimic of the sender and they make it possible to animate voice messages. But, unfortunately, Apple specialists don't reveal any info whether it will be possible to integrate this feature into other apps or not. The company patented FaceID technology, and as for Animoji, you can find it in iMessages as a separate app. But in iOS 11 Apple made it possible for developers to use their ARKit for the development of apps with face recognition, including characters in 3D. Here you will be able to add new emojis as well.

emoji for business

Animoji in iPhone X and iPhone 8

Well, Android 8.0 Oreo also has face recognition feature, although it is not animoji. Android specialists offer to use Face Detection API. This tool allows developers to make video and image analysis to recognize human faces. It can help you get all information about each face you have on your list - smile frequency, eyes opening and closing, and facial contours as well. It allows the app to detect the face accurately, apply some effects and repeat various motions of the head, smile etc.

Google Cloud Vision API presents it's library for human emotions recognition. Also, in addition, you can integrate such features like tags detection, unallowed content detection etc. Affectiva Emotion Recognition SDK offers similar features as well.

At the same time, pay your attention to ready-made libraries like Makemoji and Emojis. They allow developers to create customized smiley faces kits, and there you can also find tools for analytics.

Catch the best AR SDKs for iOS and Android. Read 8 superior AR SDK for iOS and Android that you can start using right now

Wrapping up, it is worth noting that emoji keyboard can be a good idea for the startup and it will let you compete with other apps, or it can enhance your marketing campaign. It is all up to you. And if you need any help, just contact us. By the way, if you are really interested face recognition technology, subscribe to our blog in order not to miss the article about face recognition functionality that will be published one of these days.

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About author

Evgeniy Altynpara is a CTO and member of the Forbes Councils’ community of tech professionals. He is an expert in software development and technological entrepreneurship and has 10+years of experience in digital transformation consulting in Healthcare, FinTech, Supply Chain and Logistics

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