New discourse feature: emoji skin tones ๐Ÿง ๐Ÿง๐Ÿป ๐Ÿง๐Ÿผ ๐Ÿง๐Ÿฝ ๐Ÿง๐Ÿพ ๐Ÿง๐Ÿฟ

@amandapadilla is the first person Iโ€™ve noticed using the relatively new emoji skin tones, which I thought Iโ€™d share because itโ€™s a neat feature. It shows the globally minded approach taken by the developers of our forum software. You can select one of five skin tones in the (also heavily redesigned) emoji picker and emojis that support skin tones will change automatically. Or you can try it out by choosing an emoji with the default yellow skin tone and then adding the skin tone to the emoji code, e.g. change :elf: to :elf:t6: to use the darkest available skin tone. :elf: :elf:t2: :elf:t3: :elf:t4: :elf:t5: :elf:t6:

38 AM

In case you are curious, there is a great post on Mashable that goes into โ€œEmoji Diversityโ€ and even explains how it came to be that the default color for emojis is yellow. That has nothing to do with Asians but is a reference to the original smiley designed in 1963! The standard for emojis is developed by Unicode, an international standard setting organization, and itโ€™s still being improved.

People all over the world want to have emoji that reflect more human diversity, especially for skin tone. The Unicode emoji characters for people and body parts are meant to be generic, yet following the precedents set by the original Japanese carrier images, they are often shown with a light skin tone instead of a more generic (nonhuman) appearance, such as a yellow/orange color or a silhouette.

Five symbol modifier characters that provide for a range of skin tones for human emoji are planned for Unicode Version 8.0 (scheduled for mid-2015). These characters are based on the six tones of the Fitzpatrick scale, a recognized standard for dermatology (there are many examples of this scale online, such as FitzpatrickSkinType.pdf). The exact shades may vary between implementations.

Regardless how you feel about emoji, they are here to stay and have become an integral part of how we communicate and connect with one another on forums like this oneโ€ฆ especially when using our mobile phones which are not always great for writing lots of words. I personally like to use emoji because they are fun and they enable me to communicate my feelings better than just words. :sunny:

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As an extension of the notion of inclusion, Apple has released a series of gender-neutral emojis. Here is a pretty cool CNN Money video! Awesomeness!

:smiley:

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