In an effort to level the playing field, Twitter is changing how emojis are viewed on its platform.
In a post over on the company’s developer forum, Twitter announced that, moving forward, every emoji will be counted as the same number of characters toward your tweet’s 280-character count. All emojis regardless of gender, race, eggplant, or flag will count as a total of two characters.
It may seem like a small change, but due to how Unicode, the organization that ensures emoji encoding is consistent across platforms, rendered certain emojis characteristics like gender and race in an emoji could sometimes eat up multiple characters. And as we know, in a tweet, every character counts.
Previously, as Emojipedia points out, a single basic yellow emoji counted as two characters. However, if you add a skin tone or gender, your emoji would suddenly jump to four or seven characters respectively. Adding both would transform your single emoji into a whopping nine characters. Other types of emojis, like the rainbow flag at seven characters or the family of four at 11 characters, made things even more complicated. One emoji, the “subdivision flag,” took up a total of 14 characters.
But, now, thanks to updates to the unicode system, Twitter has been able to tackle this issue and it will no longer be a problem.
Twitter users who sought to simply use emojis that best represented what they were trying to say will now have the same number of characters per tweet in order to fully express their opinions.