Not all platforms have kept up with evolving emoji standards, meaning some mobile users end up with a black box rather than that carefully selected unicorn emoji. Facebook Messenger feels your pain, so the latest version of the instant messaging service includes a new set of standardized emoji for character consistency across devices.
"No matter what emoji you pick, it will now look the same for all Messenger users, regardless if the recipient is on Android, iOS, or another platform," Facebook wrote in a blog post. "In other words, no more broken-looking black boxes or emojis that just don't make sense."
Not all platforms, though: Windows Phone is not currently supported.
Users will find more than 1,500 newly designed icons, including gender-agnostic and multi-colored options, aimed at creating a more balanced representation of Messenger users, Facebook said.
Keep an eye out for the female police officer, runner, pedestrian, surfer, and swimmer, as well as the ability to set a default skin color. And, in an emoji first, the social network is rolling out symbols to represent redheads. The update also adds a new emoji icon (a series of four faces to the left of the composer), so you're only ever a tap away from the perfect icon for any situation.
"Emojis have changed the way we talk to each other—whether it's a smiley face to show you're happy, a thumbs up, or a pizza when hungry, emojis are a fun, easy way to express yourself when words just aren't enough," Facebook said.
They're also a popular way to express yourself: Nearly 10 percent of mobile Messenger sends include at least one of the symbols.