Australia Day is literally just around the corner, and Twitter plans on celebrating the day with the invention of an emoji and a way to preserve the national conversation on the day.
Yes, you’ll be able to add one more emoji to the list you might already use, with a cool looking koala who might be a little too cool for school (or just tired and not keen on showing the world) being added to Twitter this week for use with Australia Day.
In fact, every tweet that uses the tag #AustraliaDay will get that cool koala added to the tweet, which means you can expect an awful lot of koala images popping up in a Twitter timeline.
And if all of this feels like jargon to you — and it very well is — an emoji (below) is a cute little picture that can be substituted instead of a word, and the hashtags used on Twitter are conversation linkers allowing you to find everyone talking about that specific topic whether you’re a Twitter user or not.
While Australia Day is still a few days away, a simple glance to Twitter’s search for #AustraliaDay already pulls up quite a few entries, and Twitter is expecting loads more, with a 50 percent increase in the mentions of the #AustraliaDay hashtag over the past two years.
As topic and conversation linkers, hashtags help preserve a conversation, allowing one to look back and see how a day or time progressed, and this year, Twitter will join forces with the National Museum of Australia in Canberra to show a live display of tweets connecting the conversation using the #AustraliaDay hashtag, effectively letting everyone attending the museum see what the whole of the country is talking about as they celebrate the day.
“Many Australians will be out and about on 26 January, celebrating the day with friends and family,” said Julie Inman Grant, Director of Public Policy for Twitter in Australia.
“This is an opportunity for them to be part of a national digital snapshot that captures the great diversity of our nation and just how colourful Australia Day is. Whatever you’re doing on Australia Day, snap a photo or shoot a video and Tweet it with the hashtag #AustraliaDay to generate the emoji and get your Tweets captured in the Twitter time capsule.”
For the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, that “Twitter time capsule” isn’t just a theoretical online one, but also a physical one, with the tweets broadcast on January 26 being turned in a exhibition to show the many ways Australians celebrate Australia Day.
“We encourage all Australians to share images of how they mark Australia Day 2016 to provide a permanent visual record of our cultural richness.” said Dr Mathew Trina, Director of the National Museum of Australia, adding that “these images will be stored in a time capsule at the National Museum in perpetuity.”
Anyone will be able to take part, and they don’t even have to be in Australia, either. Simply use the hashtag on Twitter #AustraliaDay when you’re writing a post for the tweet to be picked up by the exhibition at the museum and to be stored in that time capsule.
Hey, they’ll even throw in the koala emoji for free.