Apple to update emojis, make them more multicultural

Apple will update its emoji character set after last updating the character set in 2012 to include art for LGBT couples.
By Ananth Baliga   |   March 26, 2014 at 1:13 PM  |  Updated March 28, 2014 at 5:22 PM   |   Comments

CUPERTINO, Calif., March 26 (UPI) -- Apple will update its library of emoticons and smileys, called emojis, to fill a diversity gap, which saw no characters depicting African-American users.

In an interview with MTV's Act blog, Katie Cotton, vice president of worldwide corporate communications for Apple, that there was a need for more diversity in the emoji character set and that the company was working with the Unicode Consortium to update the library.

Emojis are based on a unicode character set, which allows them to be displayed across platforms. Changes or additions to this character set must go through the Unicode Consortium.

Apple's emojis depict a range of objects, moods and people including art for LGBT couples, something that was included in its last update. While many users may have felt the lack of diversity with emojis, tweets from Miley Cyrus and Tahj Mowry, younger brother of Tia and Tamara Mowry, brought the issue to the forefront.

In its last update in 2012, Apple updated emojis to include two new images representing gay and lesbian couples. General manager of Illinois chain restaurant Superdawg Drive-In, Laura Ustick, has mounted a campaign that wants to include a hot dog emoji.

"People are demanding a hot-dog emoji," Ustick told the Wall Street Journal. "It's a slight against the hot-dog community."

[MTV Act blog]
[Wall Street Journal]

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