Emoji - Japanese emoticons that are used to hold entire conversations over chat, without words
Emoji - Japanese emoticons that are used in Asia to hold entire conversations over chat, without words

A pair of 20-something British technophiles want us to talk like an Egyptian and hold entire conversations on a new social network app called Emoj.li that uses only pictures, or rather cartoonish smiley icons called "emojis".

Emojis originated in Japan and are now a standardised character font type that can be used on smartphones, websites and social networks all over the world.

In much of Asia, holding an entire chat conversation in Emoji is already very popular, and digital sticker publishers offering animated character icons are already making a lot money through deals with popular brands like Disney.

In 2013, Japanese chat app LINE made over $70 million (£40m) in digital sticker sales.

Emoj.li's creators Matt Gray and Tom Scott want to build on this trend with their app for iOS devices, perfect for people who haven't got much time on their hands - or like to keep their social interactions as brief and efficient as possible.

"Social networks are broken, with spam, trolls, memes and hashtag. It's time for something simple – emojli," the creators say in their teaser video of the app.

"No bloody forward-this-to-10-people-memes. No stupid hashtags. The worst possible message you could receive is a pile of poo."

Although the pair are still working on their app, which will be launched as a standalone product, over 50,000 people have signed up for accounts with the app, registering emoji-only usernames.

Gray is a broadcast engineer working in radio, while Scott does voiceovers and presenting for TV and sometimes blogs about technology for the Guardian.

The app is not yet near the testing phase though, and no details of funding have been released, so it might be a while before we can download this app.