Fast Company


The social media giant’s acquisition of digital avatar-maker Bitmoji may be one of its smartest moves yet.

On an overcast morning in June, a dozen or so young illustrators and animators gather in the lunchroom at the Bitstrips offices, located in an unassuming industrial building in Toronto’s swiftly gentrifying Queen Street West neighborhood. The occasion is the creative department’s twice-weekly brainstorming session, known internally as a Bitmojam, during which a new crop of bitmoji, the company’s illustrated digital mash notes, will begin to take shape. On a whiteboard, someone has written out the day’s challenge: “Shade.” Below that are listed six mildly derisive comebacks one might find useful in a text conversation, including “Are you f——ing kidding me?,” “Slow clap,” and “You had one job. . . .”

Bitmoji are perhaps best described as the mobile web’s version of Hallmark cards, but better. Cartoon greetings that feature customizable avatars and can be inserted into any number of chat apps, bitmoji offer a considerably wider (and hipper) range of expressions than you’ll ever find in a drugstore aisle. “Having a

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Fast Company

Fast Company3 min read
A Nose for Business
Chelsea Hirschhorn can recall the moment she came up with each of the gadgets she has developed for her company, Fridababy. There was the time she was cleaning her dog’s teeth with a canine wraparound toothbrush and wished she had one for her 3-year-
Fast Company12 min read
Starbucks Digs In
From Ferguson, Missouri, to military towns, the coffee giant is rejuvenating key areas of American society—and redefining what a brand can be.
Fast Company1 min read
When Brands Get Under Your Skin
Some people love to wear T-shirts or hats bearing the logos of their favorite companies. These passionate fans have gone a step further.