Some messaging apps have a feature where emojis pop up continuously (based on the keystrokes) between the keyboard and the chat screen. For example, when you type the word coffee on Line, you have a small popup containing emojis with the ‘coffee’ keyword:
Similar to how on discourse emojis pop up when we start with a : colon like below
On my local, I have made it so that whenever users type a word, the emoji menu pops up as above, but without the need to start with a colon
Letting the user choose while typing might be a better method in my opinion - the user can continue writing as before or he can choose to change a word to an emoji.
If the community and devs like this feature, I can submit a PR.