Diversity is Spreading to Emojis

As an avid iPhone user, I love emojis. There are so many hilarious ways they can be used – to tell stories, to add emotion to thoughts, to illustrate song lyrics, to draw pictures, and many more! However, I do think the emoji collection could use some updates, especially because there are only white people emojis and no black. Finally, Apple has said they are coming. MTV emailed Apple after actor Tahj Mowry sent this tweet:

Apple responded and said that it is in the works, to the excitement of many iPhone users. It will take some time, however. Apple has to work with Unicode Consortium to update any emojis. Emojis are based on the Unicode standard, which is used by many programs, apps, and platforms. Unicode isn’t controlled by Apple, but by the Unicode Consortium, so it may be a while before any changes occur. However, Apple isn’t the only person who can submit emoji changes to Unicode. Anyone can fill out an application for a new emoji, it just needs to be in widespread use. Though, the Wall Street Journal recommends going through your favorite tech company to see if they can enable an emoji on your keyboard, as sometimes the emoji will exist, just not for your device’s platform. I found the history of emojis and how they got to be a part of the iPhone keyboards very interesting as well. Emoji symbols started on Japanese cell phones, and then Unicode picked emojis up so that the symbols would be unified across all platforms. Some emojis look they way they do because they were influenced by Japanese manga and anime. This is because emojis originated in Japan and were originally used as competition pieces between cell phone carriers in the ‘90s to see who could attract more consumers by adding unique emojis to their collections. iPhones adapted emojis when the iPhone 3G was released and it was popular everywhere- except Japan because it didn’t have emojis. Here are some fun facts about emojis. There are two camel emojis because there are different words for one hump and two hump camels.camels There are 845 emojis: of which there are 75 animals, 59 food and drinks, 5 mailboxes, two post offices, and 9 symbols for not allowed. Many emojis have a Japanese influence, of which you can understand here. facts_9 facts_11 facts_2 facts_10 facts_8 Overall, I think the story of emojis is so interesting and definitely a fun topic to discuss and use in everyday conversation. I think the positive press that will occur when Apple adds more diverse emojis will increase the number of users substantially.   References: Douglass, M., & Keegan, J. (n.d.). Emoji. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://graphics.wsj.com/emoji/ Rodriguez, S. (2014, March 26). Apple working on bringing racial diversity to emoji icons. Chicago Tribune [Chicago]. Retrieved from http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/la-fi- tn-apple-emoji-racial-diversity-20140326,0,6784819.story

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3 thoughts on “Diversity is Spreading to Emojis

  1. I absolutely loved your post, and I agree with the points you’ve made, particularly the camel comparison! I think it is about time that the emojis reflect the diversity of people who use them.

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  2. I have heard comments about there not being emojis reflecting the diversity of people and it truly bothers some people. I like that you wrote a post and shed some light on this subject. You brought up some good points!

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  3. I think that it is pretty funny that they are starting to create emojis that reflect everyone. It is almost as it emojis are becoming their own little world in itself. I think some people can find this really useful and almost rewarding. I think often times people are upset with the way their culture and are are projected and I think expanding this is a great way to reach a larder demographic.

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