The way Ben Tyson sees it, there are thousands of digital conversations about cannabis taking place around the world every day. Why not give those conversations some color?
Enter KushMoji, the “official cannabis emoticon library.” Upon downloading the app, users are given access to a full keyboard of cannabis-themed emoticons, some generic and others representing specific brands and products.
“Emoticons are the fastest-growing form of communication on Earth,” Tyson, founder and CEO of KushMoji, told Civilized.
“[Before now], no one has successfully implemented this technological and social phenomenon very well into the cannabis space.”
While there have certainly been other cannabis emoticon apps, Tyson believes KushMoji is the first to pair the fun and functionality of emoticons with marketing and educational opportunities. He calls this a “win-win” for both consumers and companies.
“In our conversations with brand-owners [before making the app], we found many were struggling with how to get exposure, which is a lot easier in traditional markets where there’s less competition and way fewer regulations,” said Tyson.
“Emoticons are a relatively silly but highly effective way for brands to communicate with the masses about their products… and for the consumer, we’re providing them a brand new outlet to supplement the conversations they’re already having.”
At this point, there are roughly 30 companies that have signed up to have their products or services rendered into emoticons for the app. Those branded emoticons include everything from dispensary-specific strains to a certain company’s chocolate edibles or vape pens.
Every branded emoticon offers an explanation of what it is and where you can get it. Tyson said the developers are currently working on a geo-targeting feature that will allow users to see and use the products nearest to them in emoticon form.
“A lot of people who have maybe never even been exposed to a particular line of products, but who might have access to our keyboard, can now not only send those products but also learn about them,” said Tyson.
The app is currently in beta mode, with a planned public launch for next month. Until then, companies can contact KushMoji to have their products turned into emoticons for the remainder of the beta period. Once the app is officially launched, it will be available for free download on iOS. It will become available on Android devices in coming months.
“It’s the type of thing that’s attractive to anyone who’s even remotely interested in the cannabis industry,” said Tyson, “and who has a penchant for sending for sending emoticons.”