Emojis may be about to get a bit more color, according to Unicode Consortium, the company which regulates the characters.
“People all over the world want to have emoji that reflect more human diversity, especially for skin tone. The Unicode emoji characters for people and body parts are meant to be generic, yet following the precedents set by the original Japanese carrier images, they are often shown with a light skin tone instead of a more generic (inhuman) appearance, such as a yellow/orange color or a silhouette,” the company wrote on its website.
To that end, Unicode Version 8.0 — the latest Unicode update — may add five symbol modifier characters, offering deeper ranges of skin tone. The new colors are based on the Fitzpatrick Scale, which classifies various skin types. However, it is important to note that the update is only a draft for the time being.
The decision comes after public outcry to Apple about lack of diversity in its emojis.
Actor Tahj Mowry, who is biracial, also bemoaned the lack of Black characters on the platform earlier this year:
Consequently, Katie Cotton, Apple’s vice president of worldwide corporate communications, told MTV in March that the company is working to add variety to the platform.
“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,” she said.