Facebook and Google are following suit with other tech giants by swapping their pistol emojis in favor of water gun emojis.
While the change should already be accessible for Android users via a software update, Facebook is still in the process of making the change, though users can expect it to roll out soon after it consults with the Unicode Consortium, the nonprofit governing body responsible for determining emojis.
The change is reportedly an effort to minimize cross-platform confusion, “avoiding a scenario where a user may pick a toy gun from their native emoji keyboard on Apple, Google or Samsung devices, and have it show as a weapon on Facebook.”
Apple was the first to make the move from pistol to water gun emoji in 2016, swapping the emoji for a bright green toy water gun. WhatsApp, Samsung and Twitter later followed suit by replacing the weapon emojis with toys.
Currently, Microsoft remains the only tech giant holding out on making the switch, still sporting a realistic handgun emoji despite that they showcased a '50s style ray gun emoji between 2013 and 2015.
In other emoji-related news, a new lobster emoji that was debuted in February was forced to undergo some last-minute changes after residents in Maine got crabby.
On Feb. 7, the Unicode Consortium, the nonprofit governing body responsible for determining which emojis get added annually, released proposed images of the 157 new emojis set to be made available this year. While the list includes spot-on images of a peacock, fire extinguisher, and salt shaker, residents of Maine had a bone to pick when it came to the lobster emoji.
Residents of the Pine Tree State, a state which is also known for its lobsters, were quick to point out the anatomical inaccuracy in the proposed emoji. Whereas the Unicode Consortium’s lobster emoji only had eight legs, in real life, lobsters have a total of 10 legs.
Emojipedia, the site responsible for creating emojis, took note of the backlash and quickly changed course, introducing a new, improved, and anatomically correct lobster emoji.
The lobster wasn’t the only emoji that social media took issue with. The proposed skateboard emoji faced criticism from professional skateboarder Tony Hawk, who claimed that it looked like a skateboard from the ‘80s rather than 2018. Users also took issue with the DNA double helix emoji, which was shown to be left handed rather than right handed.
The updated lobster emoji, along with the 156 other emojis, is expected to be made available later this year.