Yahoo Smiley Faces Are Here To Stay
Some people adore them-other people detest them, but no other subject online will get a more polarized response than those humble Yahoo smiley faces. There seems to be very little middle ground; smiley faces has been with us over 25 years now, and some folks say it's time for the "round one" to go. But other web users, especially from the younger generation, continue to stand by their icon. They have grown up with Yahoo smileys and see no reason to get rid of them now.
Recently, a group of pro bloggers announced a campaign to attempt to "ban" all smiley face icons from the web entirely. Of course, this campaign will never succeed-the smiley is already far too ingrained in our collective consciousness to ever go away-but is does show you how divided opinions can be about these rotund little yellow fellows.
The fact is, there are actually two different types of smileys, and they are used in completely different ways.
One type is a symbol used to portray emotion in an online (or cell phone) message. This type of smiley is known as an emoticon. They are created by combining various punctuation marks and letters on your computer keyboard. These smileys are fairly innocuous and not the type that bloggers and others are seeking to do away with.
The second type of smiley is the controversial fellow. They are 2D or 3D graphic images, like the Yahoo smiley faces. These appear as a fat, yellow "button" with tiny back dots for eyes and a crescent-shaped mouth, and you can download many different variations of them on Yahoo. As the graphics capabilities of computers continue to increase, smiley faces continue to evolve, taking on more complicated animated movement and speech.
The newest batch of these "virtual smiley faces" has taken the internet by storm, and unfortunately, they are also being used by hundreds of online advertisers to bring attention to their products. This has resulted in a glut of smileys populating websites, forums and blogs all over the internet.
It's little wonder then, than some bloggers are seeking to do away with these happy little icons. Too much of a good thing is still just too much. Still fans of yahoo smiley faces welcome his (or her) newfound abilities to walk, dance, talk and even sing online. One renascent poll found opinions almost evenly split between those who appreciated the new virtual smileys, and those who are ready to "chase them out of town."
The fact that they can still be found adorning a huge variety of merchandise seems to particularly bother many veteran internet users, who remember the good old days when smileys where there to be seen, and not heard. But the younger generation seems to have less of a problem with this. Teenagers and 20-somethings who may have grown up with the Walmart big yellow smileys are used to seeing the happy little icons, and in polls they are mostly ambivalent to their use online, even within a heavy advertising context.
Interesting enough, the Wal-Mart company recently tried to trademark smilies. So far their attempts have been unsuccessful. Let's hope it stays that way. The Yahoo smiley faces belong to all of us, and I doubt they are going away any time soon.