Scott E Fahlman suggests a use of :) and :( in September, 1982. This happened on a bulletin board at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA. It caught on pretty fast, and in November there were already several variations.

There are many earlier examples of smilies, but this is likely what popularized emoticons as we know them today.

source + more

Thursday 8/28/2014

usa; emoticons; 1982; 1980s;

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