*Whether its a ‘smiley face’ in your sentence that reiterates the intent of your message; or that ‘red devil’ image, folks have made it known they want the old “Emoji” to begin reflecting a more ethnically diverse image.
Over the past two years Twitter campaigns by Miley Cyrus and other celebs, have brought attention to the fact the the cute, quirky emoticons that punctuate online communication need a makeover that will include skin tones representing people of color.
Dubbed “Embrojis” by Roots drummer Questlove, the more racially diverse icons are expected to appear sometime in 2015.
Unicode Consortium, which encodes the popular figures used in iPhone, Androids and other smartphones, is planning to add a skin-tone modifier to its system — allowing users to decide if they want to send a white, black or brown smiley face.
Unicode Consortium, an industry standard that regulates Emoji, may add a skin tone modifier to its system ― which means black Emoji could bcome a reality.
“People all over the world want to have emoji that reflect more human diversity, especially for skin tone,”Unicode wrote in a draft of its update.
“It’s about time. I didn’t have anything to represent me,” said Shamar Cole, 14, who is black, attends Lab High School in Manhattan and lives in Battery Park City.
“There was a black moon emoji, but that doesn’t exactly have anything to do with me,” he added.
Of course, no emoji will be enough to satisfy EVERY ethnic group. What, for example, would a bi-racial emoji look like. And would these new diverse emoticons pave the way for gender-specific and transgender emoji’s?
Oh the possibilities…And to think, it all started with a smiley face.
Each character — haircut girl, praying hands, thumbs up, dancer in a red dress, even the police man and angel — would be available in original pale and four darker shades.
Emoji lovers have demanded an ethnicity update for years.
After receiving considerable backlash for its lack of diverse emojis, Apple said it alone could not update the standard.
In March, Katie Cotton, vice president of worldwide corporate communications for Apple, told MTV it was working with Unicode ― the source of emoji ― to make better, more divers characters.
“Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms. There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard,” she said in a statement.
In May, an Africa-based app company, Oju Africa, launched a set of black emoticons for Android in the Google Play store, CNN reported.
There is no timetable for the new inclusive emojis.