Everyone loves emojis (right? RIGHT?). When it comes to messaging, emojis are a popular way to instantly express thoughts and feelings without the hassle of writing out words and such (what a concept!). As that old saying goes, a picture – in this case, an emoji – can say a thousand words.
Hearts, hands, faces with different expressions, everyday objects, food items, animals – the list goes on. (PssT! Click here to learn about secret “sexting” codes kids are using.) Chances are, there will always be an appropriate emoji for anything you’re trying to say. I’ve even seen people communicate with just emojis in their messages. Yep, like it’s a native second language of some sort.
With that said, people fluent in emoji-speak can be all too passionate about these little icons. Changes to emojis can be quite jarring to some. It’s like tampering with a perfect language you’ve grown to learn and love!
For example, gun owners, in particular, may not appreciate the new emoji tweaks all the tech giants are rolling out as we speak. Read on and find out what these changes will look like.
More tech companies ditch the gun emoji
Back in 2016, Apple changed its iOS 10 gun emoji from a revolver to something less threatening – a water gun. Part of the reason for the switch was due to pressure from activists after a string of high-profile shootings that year.
Other companies soon followed Apple’s lead and changed their gun emojis, as well, including Samsung, Twitter and WhatsApp. Now, three more tech giants announced that they are joining the gun emoji switching-movement.
According to Emojipedia, Google is rolling out a new emoji set to Android devices through Google’s EmojiCompat library. This library allows emoji updates to be deployed separately from Android OS updates.
With Google’s latest update, the revolver emoji will be changed into a bright orange, green and yellow water gun.
Expect most major Android gadgets to follow suit since both LG and HTC have apparently moved away from their custom emoji sets and are now using Google’s default sets.
And as I mentioned earlier, Samsung already switched its gun emoji to a water pistol in its Android devices.
A Facebook spokesperson has also confirmed to Emojipedia that it is replacing its gun emoji with a toy squirt gun across all Facebook platforms.
Facebook’s decision is likewise a technical one. Since most tech companies are ditching the gun emoji, Facebook wants to minimize cross-platform messaging and miscommunication issues – for example, a user might send a toy gun emoji from an Apple or Android gadget but have it show up as a gun on Facebook.
Microsoft appeared to have been the last major company that’s holding on to a realistic gun emoji, but in a recent tweet, the company announced that it too is joining the water gun switching party.
“We are in the process of evolving our emojis to reflect our values and the feedback we’ve received,” tweeted Microsoft, alongside a picture of green, yellow, and orange water squirt gun.
Based on the timing announcement, it’s obvious that Microsoft doesn’t want to be the sole major platform that still has a realistic gun emoji.
Interestingly, Microsoft was the first platform to have its gun emoji represented by a toy until it changed it to a revolver in 2016 due to cross-platform consistency concerns. However, now in 2018, it looks like the tables have turned.
Gun enthusiasts that do not want to text, tweet, or type without the gun emoji have a few options to work around this change. They can download their own set of emojis or copy/paste them into the messages they’re composing. It’s a hack-style workaround but at least, it’s still doable.
What do you think about the latest new gun emoji changes? Drop us a comment!
If you use Chrome, check out these changes
Gun emojis are not the only ones getting major makeovers. Google’s popular Chrome browser is also set for a big redesign. Click here to get a sneak preview of Chrome’s new look.