BBC News

Facebook Messenger adds diverse emojis including icons for professional women

image copyrightFacebook

Facebook is adding a new set of diverse emojis to its Messenger app.

Among the changes will be the ability to choose skin tone, as you can already on products running Apple's iOS, and more icons showing professional women.

Facebook says it's introducing the first female police officer, runner, pedestrian, surfer and swimmer on any platform.

A blog post says Messenger wants to make emojis more representative of the world people actually live in.

image copyrightFacebook

"Nearly 10% of mobile sends in Messenger include emojis," said developers.

"However, not all platforms have kept up with emoji standards as they've evolved - which means sometimes the emoji you wanted to send wasn't the one that showed up.

"Nor are they living up to the gender and skin tone diversity that we see in our world every day."

Facebook also says people using the Messenger app will now only see its own standardised emojis and not a mix of different icons.

image copyrightFacebook

It's introducing more than 1,500 new designs including dozens of gender-agnostic and multi-coloured options.

Messenger will also have emojis representing red heads for the first time.

"No matter what emoji you pick, it will now look the same for all Messenger users, regardless if the recipient is on Android, iOS or another platform," the blog says.

"In other words, no more broken-looking black boxes or emojis that just don't make sense.

"Our characters are consistent every time you use them, no matter what platform the recipient is on."

image copyrightFacebook

The changes will roll out across the world from Thursday.

"On all platforms, the Messenger composer will now include an emoji picker to help you select the perfect emoji.

"Tap the new emoji icon at the left of the composer to find just the right emoji. It's now easier than ever to toggle in between the regular text keyboard and the emoji keyboard."

Google engineers designed a set of 13 emojis that they say better represent women in the world of work earlier this month.

image copyrightUnicode

The designs have been presented to the Unicode consortium, the body that approves and standardises emojis.

The new designs includes healthcare workers, scientists and businesswomen.

Find us on Instagram at BBCNewsbeat and follow us on Snapchat, search for bbc_newsbeat

Related Topics

  • Gender
  • Facebook
  • Emojis
  • Mobile phones
  • Apps