The world of emoji – the tiny icons that can be used in texts and emails to emote feelings and thoughts – has been pretty vanilla. Very few non-caucasian characters are included in the set. But now, an Apple spokeswoman says the company is working to change that.
Speaking to MTV Act, an Apple spokeswoman says the company has been “working closely” with the Unicode Consortium (of which it’s a member) to update, and perhaps expand the emoji character set.
Katie Cotton, vice president of worldwide corporate communications for Apple, responded to inquiries from MTV Act with the following:
Tim forwarded your email to me. We agree with you. 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.
The last change Apple made to the emoji character set was with the release of iOS 6, when additional characters were added, and the emoji were made available to all users. Before iOS 6, special apps were required to access the emoji character set.