Like Apple, Twitter too has changed its pistol emoji to a bright green water gun. The online news and social networking service is also rolling out many other changes in the update, Twemoji 2.6. When Apple introduced the water gun emoji in iOS 10, it said that there’s no place for a gun in the emoji list while messaging on mobile devices.
As emojis greatly influence culture and communication, changes of this sort are important. So much attention is given to the emoji updates that go beyond just cosmetics, for instance, the inclusion of male and female versions of the police officer and other professions. Talking of the water gun emoji, Apple has set a benchmark that others in the industry follow. While Samsung and WhatsApp replaced their guns with the water gun emoji, Google and Microsoft didn’t follow Apple’s lead and left their realistic gun emojis as it is.
Jeremy Burge, Emojipedia’s founder and vice chair on the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee, said, “The main problem with the different appearances of the pistol emoji has been the potential for confusion when one platform displays this as an innocuous toy, and another shows the same emoji as a weapon. Now we’re seeing multiple vendors all changing to a water pistol image all in a similar timeframe with Samsung and Twitter both changing their design this year.”
Though the gun was a significant change in Twemohi 2.6, there are many others that have been updated, like the kitchen knife, the Crystal Ball, the Alembic and the Magnifying Glass with more minor tweaks to the Coat, Eyes and emoji faces with horns.