It’s rare for Microsoft products to invoke a pleasant sense of nostalgia, but MSN Messenger is a piece of software that does.
The instant messaging software has been long dead, with Microsoft pulling the plug on the service in 2014 — then called Windows Live Messenger — due to declining user numbers. Fifteen dutiful years to bored teenagers around the earth meant little in the new world dominated by Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
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Yet years after we last signed on, MSN Messenger still invokes memories of long, late night D&M’s (deep and meaningful conversations), talking to high school crushes and awkward chats with fledgling friends consisting of the words “sup? nm, u? nm” and little else.
We’ve moved on to the likes of Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp, but we’re still communicating with a relic from MSN Messenger and other instant messaging programs: Emoticons, or as they’re now known, emoji.
Yes, there are hordes of emoji to play with now, especially compared to the old days of MSN Messenger. But let us never forget the emoticons that sadly never made the switch.
Here are eight that should come back into our internet lives.
One of MSN Messenger’s “hidden” emoticons, one can only activate this by using the shortcut “(?)” as it wasn’t available in menus.
It’s the emoticon for creepy strangers who just added you a few minutes ago, and have already asked you out on a date. It’s the unsolicited dick pic of 2005, which would be a welcome swap for actual mystery penis.
There is unfortunately no current emoji that can accurately depict a splendid mix of disappointment and disbelief quite like MSN Messenger’s sarcastic face. Surprisingly, one wouldn’t use the emoticon after a message loaded with sarcasm, but rather it’s deployed in response to a terrible joke.
You’d have to give credit to the emoji designers for creating an accurate disappointment smiley, but they haven’t come up with a solution to MSN Messenger’s answer to disappointment — which looks more like a cross between bewilderment and fright, let’s be honest.
Use this face when the sarcastic emoticon isn’t effective enough.
When the conversation gets super uncomfortable or you’re busting to go to the bathroom after a long session chatting up babes on MSN, BRB a.k.a. “be right back” is another hidden emoticon that also hasn’t made its way into emoji form.
That’s likely because we’re constantly online now: Our phones have push notifications and are fitted with GPS trackers notifying the world of our coordinates. While there is arguably no such thing “be right back” anymore, an emoji would be a useful smokescreen in this nonstop day and age.
5. The “telling secrets” emoticon
“Telling secrets” was never really used in conversation, unlike its modern emoji equivalents, zipped-mouth face or speak-no-evil monkey. It’s more for your MSN Messenger statuses, showing that you’re some secret talking girl or guy. We’d totally think it would be useful in one’s Instagram profile.
While emoji like the party popper and the balloon adequately communicate one’s need to p-a-r-t-y, we’ve missed the wild noisemaker and hat antics of the party emoticon.
You know it’s gonna get down with red cordial and quiche when this smiley gets laid down in a chat. Hopefully that ASL person doesn’t show up.
7. Tongue Smile
Yes, there is several variations on the tongue out smiley in modern emoji, but nothing will quite match the zeal and fervour of MSN Messenger’s “tongue smile” emoticon — the perfect accompaniment to a cheeky comment or when you’re trying to defuse a potentially tense conversation.
“Teeth” should also be called the Hannibal Lecter emoticon, because it’s the ultimate way to express anger, with a dash of psychopath. Goes well with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.#emoji #msn