Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has announced a major overhaul of its Messenger app where it plans to introduce more emojis that are supposedly aimed at supporting diversity.
More than 1,500 new emojis are coming on board the Messenger app, most of which support different skin tones. This means users now have a wide variety of emojis with different skin tones to choose from. The company has also been focusing on gender representation. This involves giving women more roles for example providing emojis for female police officers, swimmers, pedestrian, runner and surfer among others that will be introduced soon. Perhaps transgender emojis will follow.
Facebook is also planning to make the emojis available across all platforms. Some of them were previously available to some users while other users did not get access depending on their phones. They are also supposed to look similar on any platform, but there have been instances characterized by slight variations from one platform to another. The company aims to eliminate such differences by fostering consistency throughout.
The skin color variations are already available on iOS, but the Unicode update is expected to make the variations available on all platforms in June 2015. The new emojis on Messenger were created to address past requests for better representation especially for women and minority groups. Gender has been one of the subjects that have been particularly sensitive, thus the need for the company to do something about it by creating emojis for professional roles. The company’s aim to standardize emoji icons might be far-fetched as far as other companies are concerned. Nevertheless, the move will most likely motivate other firms to up their emoji game.
Facebook’s WhatsApp pioneered the skin tone variations for emojis. The social network company has included some more emojis which users can view once they receive the updates.