Ever wonder why you have no way to switch out your default emoji (font) within your device? Ever wonder what choices you might have if you could?
In a modern digital world where personalization is often considered standard practice, the freedom to choose your preferred emoji font is a rare feature. So rare that just about every mobile device that exists today is factory shipped with a singular emoji font locked by the phone's OS.
Emoji fonts from major OS manufacturers:
- iOS/MacOS = Apple Emoji
- Android = Google Emoji
- Windows = Microsoft Emoji
- Samsung = Samsung Emoji
You'll even notice a small number of social platforms have gone to the extreme trouble of developing their own emoji font. The benefit to a social platform maintaining their own style of emoji is primarily branding and user experience.
Emoji fonts from social platforms:
- Facebook = Facebook Emoji
- Twitter = Twitter Emoji (Twemoji)
- WhatsApp = WhatsApp Emoji
Then there's emoji fonts not tied to a platform at all. Both fonts are homegrown with their own story. The purpose of an independent emoji font can vary. For us, JoyPixels (formerly EmojiOne), we created the world's first open-source emoji font in 2014 to provide software developers with a free and legal emoji solution. Since then, we've grown into a high-end emoji brand with a focused mission.
Independent fonts not paired to a device or platform:
That makes up a total of 9 unique native emoji fonts, 7 of which are owned and managed by several of the most powerful companies in the world.
As new emoji fonts are born (and die off), consumers are currently left with no choice but to accept the lovable picture icons provided to them. When you consider how different emoji can appear from platform to platform, it's not difficult to understand why allowing some control over our emoji would make a lot of sense.
What you see is not always what the viewer on the other end might see. Your experience may also vary in specific apps within your device. Viewing the same emoji in your email may not match what you see in your web browser, for example.
The problem with the current emoji wars among vendors, is the following:
- Vendors like Apple/Google lock down their emoji font, preventing choice and customization
- Newly approved emoji from Unicode can take 6-12 months (even longer) for vendors to adopt, which result in broken icons if your platform is behind
- There's no option for parents to censor icons they deem are inappropriate for their children
- The specific emoji icon you see may not be the specific emoji icon that was intended (by the sender)
- If you don't like the icon designs provided, you're out of luck
- Without openness, there's little incentive for independent designers to enter the space and innovate
We must demand and fight for change, starting today! Apple, Google, and Microsoft all have the power to open their platforms up, but they've decided up until now to maintain control.
Why advocate for change?
- Apple, Google, and Microsoft could unlock the ability, if they wanted
- We deserve the freedom to control your own emoji, even if it required us to upload our own font
- Emoji font choice will drive innovation and spark new emoji fonts
- Select the emoji font you prefer (like JoyPixels), not what the vendor prefers
Please sign this petition today at Change.org to demand emoji freedom. Innovation stalls with the presence of walls. Google, Apple, and Microsoft all have the power to unlock this ability. Make your voice heard and let's create change.
In celebration of #worldemojiday!