Twitter has made a delicate, however not insignificant change to the way in which it counts emoji in its 280-character restrict. Shifting ahead, all of its natively supported emoji will depend as two characters. Beforehand, including pores and skin tone and gender modifiers to an emoji unintentionally penalized customers and plenty of seemingly didn’t even understand it.
In a new weblog, Twitter defined that the way in which emojis are encoded leads to quite a lot of character counts that may be complicated and limiting for customers. Particular person emojis like a flag may take up 4 characters whereas a easy waving man requires solely two characters. Including modifiers for options like pores and skin tone or a mode of flag elevated the character depend. Basically, this was a technical difficulty however it additionally inadvertently negated efforts to convey equality to the emoji area. “This replace marks vital progress for our service,” Twitter mentioned in its announcement.
In response to Twitter’s change, Emojipedia gave some examples of the vary of character counts that varied emojis would beforehand produce:
As the Verge factors out, Unicode makes use of a technique known as “zero width joiners” to mix a few of its emojis. This tells platforms that the emojis shouldn’t be separated by an area and as a substitute needs to be mixed into a brand new type. For instance, the generic household emoji (👪) is interpreted by providers like Twitter and Google Docs as two characters—it’s a standalone emoji. However if you wish to add one other son to the combination, the platform has to mix the person and girl emojis with two boys (👨+👩+👦+👦). Every emoji is interpreted by Google as two characters and every area between them as one character. When zero width joiners are used, you get an output that appears like this: 👨👩👦👦, however it’s nonetheless interpreted as 11 characters.
Home windows 10 helps 52,000 mixtures of the household emoji. These totally different mixtures lead to totally different character counts. The household emoji with a medium-dark pores and skin tone (👩🏾👩🏾👦🏾👦🏾) is interpreted as 19 characters, and the identical goes for different pores and skin tones.
All in all, this transformation means extra 👏 emojis 👏 for 👏 everybody 👏.