Twitter for Android is getting its own emoji because of fragmentation

Image: Emojipedia/Twitter

How bad is the situation with Android emoji, despite Google’s attempts at an overhaul? So bad, in fact, that Twitter is updating its Android app with custom emoji because most Android phones are never on the same (or latest) software release, so users often aren’t seeing the same icons.

The problem gets even worse when iOS users publish tweets with emoji that Android users don’t have (resulting in those boxes seen in the “before and after” shot). It’s actually pretty sad and even more embarrassing that Twitter had to step in and address the issue.

Regardless of what emoji your phone comes with, from Android KitKat, Nougat, or even Lollipop, Twitter will override and provide you with its own set of “Twemoji” starting today, according to Emojipedia. Moving forward, no matter what the software situation is on your Android phone, you’ll be seeing the same emoji within the Twitter app.

Actually, you might have seen these emoji before and you’d be correct — the new Android “Twemoji” are the same used on the desktop version of Twitter. At least that experience won’t be as fragmented.


Could be fixed by having Unicode / emoji updates being pushed out by Google Play Services. Restrict OEMs from touching it.

The emoji variances these days on Android are less to do with OEM changes and more to do with changes to the OS itself. Android has updated the emoji with more OS releases, but when your entire user population is on half a dozen different OS versions, you get this fragmentation. It falls directly in line with every other piece of Android fragmentation, OS updates don’t get pushed to phones.

Yeah that’s why it would be nice if Google injected its own emoji into the fonts on each phone and these emoji were updated through Play Services. Fragmentation is an issue for lots of reasons, but this shouldn’t be one of them. Having common emoji should just be expected.

That’s exactly what Google did, with EmojiCompat. Applications simply need to add that library to their applications, and the latest Google emoji will be displayed. My Twitter app of choice (Plume) already has support for it.

Twitter is actually using this same feature, but they’re supplying their own emoji font, rather than using the one supplied by Google.

What’s interesting to me is that they’re not enabling it for phones with Android Oreo, so for example there’s still a population of Twitter users out there that see tweets with Samsung’s emoji set—though thankfully not the one with crackers for cookies and six-fingered hands.

Haha. I used to use Plume, but now I use Fenix. Not sure if Plume has EmojiCompat support, but I assume that it does.

Wtf is that so. Then they should put an option at least to pick either from Twimoji or Google’s Noto Emoji. That’s not fair. They should ship it both

From the source article:

Well then they should ship this on iOS too, at least as optional as the emoji situation there is much chill, and add a emoji picker just like on desktop so users have ability to input emojis too, even those that their set doesn’t support yet. That’s the problem with apps implemented universal emoji, they add it for output, but you can still the input what your phone and your keyboard still supports

Well then they should ship this on iOS too

No thanks, we’ll keep our system-wide, well crafted, well thought out and inclusive set of emoji.

iOS emoji are iconic and used everywhere. Like the peach, sassy person, inquisitive face, etc. You don’t see anyone giving a fuck about Android emoji lol even though Android users would love to say the flat aesthetic is so superior, blah blah blah

But I like the blobs they are so cute!

I am one with the blob, the blob is one with me

I really liked the blobs, although about half of them were excellent and the other half was complete ass.

Basically only like the first two pages of the faces emoji were good, everything else was a mess especially real world objects that I rarely used because they were terrible.

Like the bunny ears girl and the grimacing face that’s supposed to be a grin. It’s certainly an attitude, anyway.

That’s why it would be an option, just like they’re doing for Android.
Besides, it would make sense for Twitter to make their emojis unified across Twitter, no matter the device you use.

This is why we need a standardised set of emoji for every platform. At this point we really should all just use the Apple emojis.

It is standardized (Unicode). The issue is that additions don’t always make it into the OS. EmojiCompat was introduced to combat this situation. The source article even mentions it.

It’s worth noting that this emoji implementation has been done using Google’s own EmojiCompat library.

yes everyone should have the blobs im glad we agree

lol, the first paragraph of this article is so dramatic. If you have any Android phone from the lets say the last 3 years (if not longer) this is a non-issue. And for like 80% of emojis even really old phones are just fine.

As much as I loved the blobs, I’m kind of glad twitter is doing this. Twemoji look pretty good, and some of the other implementations… don’t.

Twitter’s emoji set are much, much better than Google’s own as of Oreo set; they feel more Material Design as well. Google should just start using them tbh given that they’re open source.

The problem gets even worse when iOS users publish tweets with emoji that Android users don’t have (resulting in those boxes seen in the "before and after" shot). It’s actually pretty sad and even more embarrassing that Twitter had to step in and address the issue.

It’s not always that way around – there have been several occasions where Google’s Android emoji set gets new ones before iOS does over the last couple of years, so tweets sent from a Pixel can contain characters not displayed on 99.9% of devices.

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