Twitter's new gun emoji.
Twitter is rolling out the latest updates to its emoji and one change is quite notable: its pistol icon is now that of a water gun, as Emojipedia noticed.
Why it matters: In 2016, Apple was the first vendor to make this change, which was widely interpreted as a political statement against gun violence. In the last several months, WhatsApp and Samsung have followed suit, so Twitter is making the change to be consistent with these vendors, a spokesperson tells Axios.
The change will help mitigate misunderstandings when a user on one platform sends a water gun emoji and it appears as a pistol for users on a different one, and vice versa.
- Consistency is also why others, like Google's Android, chose to stick with their pistol-looking icon despite Apple's move at the time. (While the Unicode Consortium manages emoji, vendors are free to design their own as long as they match each icon's criteria.)
Still: Politics, and especially sensitivity to the recent gun control debate in the U.S., will likely begin to influence companies' tools and designs.