Let’s be honest: no one really needs more ways to ineffectively communicate via text message. We already have emojis ranging from beers cheers-ing (my personal favorite) to the UFO (Unidentified Food Object) pictured below.


In fact, the ad world has taken emojis by storm recently, from French McDonald’s emojis turned people to this anti-drug campaign that makes me feel completely out of touch with my fellow millenials to when everyone predicted Domino’s social media manager fell asleep on the pizza button for a bit. And I think those who have capitalized on the trend are smart to do so, the same way the first brands to use hashtags became the cool kids on the block…or feed. I don’t love when brands create their own emojis, quite simply because I think millenials aren’t fans of downloading apps.

Although I may have spoken to quickly, because my new obsession is actually an app: Bitmoji. We don’t need more reasons to use images over words that already replace oral communication, but that doesn’t stop me from using my new love, the Bitmoji keyboard. Okay, to be fair it’s not a completely new thing. It’s from the makers of Bitstrips, the Facebook phenomenon that exposed how much time my friends waste creating mildly humorous cartoon depictions of their lives. I never got into it. However, when my younger and far hipper friend started texting me cartoon versions of her saying humorous things I knew I had to get on it.

So meet Bitmoji Becca:


And here are the friends I’ve roped into this (some more obliging than others):


Besides annoying my friends with cartoon depictions of myself saying things remotely appropriate to the conversation, I enjoy bitmoji for its cultural references. Every week they come out with new themed “packs” of presumably sponsored bitmojis like Terminator, Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley (pictured below and my favorite at the moment).


Aside from the themed packs, though, they also bring cultural relevance to the basic bitmojis. I was surprised to find myself in a Left Shark costume, holding two versions of The Dress, in the painting The Scream, posed as Rosie the Riveter and as the Kim Kardashian Paper magazine cover. As a brand, this is a smart move for Bitmoji; it gives me the feeling that they are in on the joke, or rather jokes, that millenials are all about. I mean when one of my friends told me he knew Left Shark, I went more than a little fan girl about it and changed my Twitter bio to: “I know a guy who knows Left Shark.”


So why do you need to know about Bitmoji? Because it is a customizable keyboard that is doing it right. Do you need more pictographs in lieu of words? Probably not. But just like the Hipster BBQ Pandora station (which I’m still listening to on the daily, by the way), it’s worth a try.