So here are a few things you should know about Bitmjoi, which analytics firm comScore ranked No. 1 on the growth-spurt list, at least since February 2015:
— It was scooped up by Snapchat last spring when the recent IPO darling bought Bitmoji’s parent Canadian company, Bitstrips.
— One of the co-founders, Jacob Blackstock, goes by the nickname “Ba.”
— Bitmojis have caught on with not just 12-year-olds and fast-texting Millennials, but with entire families as a fun way to keep in touch.
— ComScore found that among unique visitors over 18, Bitmoji’s growth had skyrocketed in the past two years, up a jaw-dropping 5,210 percent since 2015.
— The emoji-making app is consistently among the top 10 free apps in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, and it dropped only to No. 2 from No. 1 in Apple’s top free-apps chart.
— Bitstrips started off as a way to make personalized comics back in the digital prehistoric ages known as 2007, but soon morphed into a tool to make cartoon avatars.
— Snapchat, which officially integrated Bitmoji into its own app in July, started trading on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this month, with a blowout debut that saw it close up 44 percent the first day.
— Last month, Bitmoji expanded beyond mobile, adding a Chrome extension that lets users send dispatch their avatars in emails, paste them in Google Docs, and more.
— Blackstock started animating at age 6 and before launching Bitstrips he was the founder of Core Matrix, an independent experimental media studio, and Dream Machine, an animation school for kids.
— In his free time, Blackstock works as a visual performance artist, creating massive interactive animation projections in secret locations.
— The service was first unveiled at South by Southwest in 2008.
— Bitstrips co-founder and high school pal of Blackstock, journalist Jesse Brown, once predicted that the service would be the “groundwork for a whole new way to communicate.”
— Early Bitmoji adopters include Seth Rogen, John Mayer, Victoria Beckham and Lena Dunham.
— Fortune estimated Snapchat paid “in the ballpark” of $100 million for Bitstrips.