By now you already noticed the new Messenger emojis, but do you know who designed them and why? No? Don’t worry that’s why I’m here.
These new 1,180 emoji images are available exclusively in Facebook Messenger and were designed by The Iconfactory, a company specialized in icons, user interfaces, and branding design from Greensboro, NC.
The reason for this change was the emoji confusion users had when using emojis on different platforms (IOS and Android), since each one of the has a different way to show emojis, making the “emoji experience” inconsistent. So with this new update all emojis will look the same on every device, web and Messenger app.
But honestly, I think another reason was to become independent from The Unicode Consortium — which is the non-profit organization that coordinates the development the standard codes for texting, including emojis — even though Facebook is part of it. By making its own emoji set, Messenger can now design and add the emojis they want or people request without waiting for the approval from that Consortium.
Among the new changes are a Messenger emoji picker to select the perfect emoji and avoid the default emoji keyboard from devices, a female versions of popular versions, different skin tones and hair colors, and a new glossy design with shadows and gradients, which in my opinion makes them look more childish and friendlier like its stickers, so they fit perfectly in the messenger world. And I kind of feel like these emojis are more expressive and easier to understand.
In response to the problems of racism and discrimination, Facebook has decided to present female versions of popular emojis — surfer, swimmer, pedestrian, police officer, and runner— instead of the common male version.
The only problem I have is that they work really nice when they are sent without text because they appear in a big and visible size, but when sent with messages they are too small that with all the details and colors they have, it’s hard to fully appreciate them. Perhaps a simplified version for smaller sizes could have worked better, as google did with its icons.