Apple Assures ‘Ethnically Diverse’ Emojis; Did Miley Cyrus Help This Endeavor?

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By Pavithra Rathinavel | March 28, 2014 1:50 PM EST

Emojis (a.k.a emoticons, smileys & ideograms), are widely used tiny smartphone/device based graphic pictographs.

Other than using emojis in smartphone based chats & text messages, every application from Twitter to WhatsApp allows one or the other form of emojis/emoticons.

Reuters
Try Japanese Emoticon from the usual smileys

Although emojis are active in Japan from the 1990s, Apple is the trailblazer in making emoji spread like a wild fire with the introduction of their first mobile OS in the year 2011.

With millions of Apple customers across the world using emojis to communicate with friends and family via text messages and in social networking sites; there was always a question lingering in everybody's mind - "Why Apple's emojis are all Caucasian-looking?"

Interestingly, Miley Cyrus tweeted asking for racially diverse emojis to be fair to all the different racial groups across the world.

As a follow-up to the tweet, Act.mtv.com took the first step to mail Apple CEO Tim Cook asking if Apple has any plans of making racially or ethnically diverse emoticons/emojis.

The site got a response back from Katie Cotton, vice president of worldwide corporate communications for Apple, within a day.

And here is what Katie had to say:

"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." She added, "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."

But Apple did not comment on a possible date by which the Unicode problems will be sorted out.

In any case, we can expect our emojis to turn racially diverse sooner or later. But how many new problems will this endeavor create - is a question to ponder.

What do you think of the racially diverse emojis? Feel free to share your thoughts.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Try Japanese Emoticon from the usual smileys
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