All emojis are equal in Twitter emoji character count update

Twitter have made changes to emoji character counts in a brand new update.
All emojis on Twitter now share equal character counts.

The Twitter emoji character count change was announced on the social media's community forums.

This means that emojis with a gender modifier or skin tone will now only count as two characters.

Emojipedia highlighted the issue by comparing the person with raised hand emoji. The standard emoji was only two characters but increased to four when a skin tone was added. Using a gender and skin tone on the same emoji would increase the character count to nine.

This also applied to non-people emojis. Country flags for example would contain 4 characters - while the subdivision flag contained 14 characters. Under the new update, all of the above emojis will now count as two characters

Andy Piper, a developer at Twitter, said in the post:

"Due to the differences in the way written text and emojis are encoded, many emojis (including emojis where you can apply gender and skin tone) have counted as more characters than other emojis, limiting the room for people to express themselves in other ways"

He also commented on the differing character counts between emojis, causing extra confusion. In addition, Twitter is updating their developer libraries to accommodate the changes.

The character count update will not apply for companies who have extended Unicode's recommended set, however. Microsoft's Astro Cat emoji for example will still use more than two characters.

Twitter users will now have even more space to Tweet with their fave emojis especially given last years increase of characters per tweet. The change, which was preceded by a lengthy trial, bumped tweet lengths from 140 to 280 characters.
Aaron Braund 16 October 2018

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