Look, the point of the 😛 smiley is that you’re being a bit rude to someone. The animated Skype one sticks its tongue out okay, but is smiling at the same time – which reduces the impact. And of course you can’t switch the little bugger off. Yet another cheap and cheerful Internet concept gets dumbed down by people who didn’t quite ‘get it’.
It proves Marshall McLuhan right yet again, obviously – defining the ‘cool’ as being something that is understood by a connected minority, and coolness disintegrates as the concepts (like smileys) are delivered to mainstream culture. (Smileys aren’t cool today of course.)
But does today’s software really have to convert such things into animated graphics without asking? I mean, the whole reason SMS succeeded and MMS has been a dismal failure is that the former is cheap and cheerful and appeals on its simplicity, as do smileys. There’s no need to load up simple concepts with cycle-munching baggage.