The history of emojis dates back to the 90s, but Apple radically advanced emoji development in 2018 with the release of the memoji. With this development, users can customize emojis to look like miniature versions of themselves.

While it's entertaining to see oneself as a memoji, the old-fashioned emoji remains a staple. These small icons have been used in photo memes and to create unique overlays for video edits.

TL;DR: Get started right away with this emoji overlay template.

In this article, I'll explain how to add emojis to photos and videos using a free website called Kapwing.

How to Add Emojis to Photos

An emoji overlay is the perfect solution for hiding faces and creating funny edits in ordinary pictures. You can overlap emojis, put them in unlikely places, and combine emojis to make something new. To begin adding your own creative twist to a photo, find the perfect picture and follow the steps below.

Step 1: Upload Photo

Adding emojis to your pictures is simple to do. Get started by visiting Kapwing in your browser and upload the photo background that you want to use. On mobile phones or tablets, you can choose the photo from your camera roll and on a computer, you can drag and drop the file to upload it.

upload screenshot
Use the "Click to Upload" area to import your photo

Alternatively, you can use one of Kapwing's existing templates to add emojis on your photo. Use this smiley emoji template to use one of the below overlays or this heart emoji template to put heart layers around your photo.

Emoji template screenshot

Once your photo is uploaded, resize your image to the right dimensions. Make a 9:16 photo for Instagram Stories or TikTok, 1:1 for IG posts or profile pictures, and 16:9 for YouTube or Twitter.

Step 2: Add & position your emojis

Once you have a photo uploaded to Kapwing's Studio, it's time to add or edit the emoji you're using. To add an emoji, just choose "Upload" from the top toolbar and select the "Emojis" tab. Scroll through the full menu of Apple emojis, and select one to add to your project.

Emoji import modal in Kapwing
Emoji import modal in Kapwing

When you add an emoji to the photo, you can drag and resize the emoji to place it where you want on the photo. You can move the photo layer forward or backward and duplicate it if you want to have that emoji multiple times.

Edit layer on photo in Kapwing

Often, people want to share their outfit, their pet, or their meal on social media without showing their face, to remain anonymous online. To do this, drag the emoji, its corners, and the rotate button to position it over your face. Depending on the emoji you use, it functions as a built-in caption, as well.

With Kapwing, you can add as many emoji layers as you want. Use the "duplicate" button to copy a sticker layer multiple times.

Step 3: Process & download

Once you've made your emoji picture, click "Export Image" in the upper right-hand corner. Kapwing will automatically work its magic and your emoji picture will be ready to download in no time! When your picture is finished processing, click “Download” from the right side of the screen.

final download page kapwing

How to Add Emojis to Videos

Now that we've covered how to add emojis to photos, let's move onto videos. Emojis can spruce up subtitles, hide unsuspecting bystanders, and enhance the appearance of call-to-actions that pop up throughout a video. After following the steps below, you'll have a new and improved video featuring your favorite emojis.

Step 1: Upload a Video

Head over to Kapwing on your device and upload a video to import it into the Studio. You can drag a drop a file from your computer, paste a video URL, or select "Click to Upload" to upload the video from your device. You can export video up to seven minutes long for free.

Step 2: Add Emojis

To add an emoji to your video, click upload, then emojis and scroll through the collection to find the one you want to use. You can select as many emojis as you want.

You can resize the emoji by dragging the circle on each corner and you can change the position by dragging the emoji across the canvas. To change when your emoji appears in the video, click and move it on the timeline then drag the ends of the layer to make the duration longer or shorter. To enter a precise start and end time, click timing on the right side of the Studio. If you're on mobile, tap edit video, then timing.  

Step 3: Export and Download

Click the green export video button to begin processing your video, then click download to save it to your device. If you see a watermark in the corner, sign in with Google or Facebook to create a free Kapwing account, then the watermark will be removed.

With Kapwing's free and intuitive editor, you can create more emojied images and videos in no time! Use the hashtag #kapwing whenever you share your content on social media to get an extra like and follow from us! Make sure to subscribe to the Kapwing Resources page to get updates about new features and tutorials to help you make the most out of Kapwing.


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