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Twitter for Android now uses its own emojis, and that's good news for older devices

Twitter's support for its own Twemojis is available in the latest Android app version and works across supported devices.

Published onMay 22, 2018

Twitter for Android
  • Twitter on Android now uses its own emojis instead of your device’s.
  • This is due to a lack of emoji compatibility across Android versions.
  • You can enable the new emojis within settings if your device runs Android KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow, or Nougat.

Even though emoji has become a vital part of how we communicate with others on our devices, there remains the issue of compatibility. Twitter hopes to ease that issue with its own set of emojis.

As detailed on Emojipedia, Twitter no longer uses the native emojis found on your smartphone. Instead, the service now uses its own “Twemoji” that you see if you use Twitter on the desktop.

The change will likely make many people happy. What some folks might not know is that new versions of Android usually include new and updated emojis that are incompatible with older versions. Even stranger, device manufacturers like Samsung use their own sets of emojis that might be incompatible across devices.

This fragmentation is no surprise to Android users. According to the latest version distribution numbers, almost 40 percent of Android devices out in the wild run 2014’s Android Lollipop or older. 26 percent of devices, meanwhile, run 2015’s Android Marshmallow.

Google tried to solve the emoji fragmentation issue with the EmojiCompat support library, which eliminates the need for an app to wait for Android OS updates to get the latest emojis.

At the end of the day, however, it is up to device manufacturers to make sure that their devices are up to date. That is depressing. Companies should be embarrassed that Twitter had to step in and address the emoji fragmentation issue.

According to Twitter, support for Twemoji should be available on the official Twitter app for KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow, and Nougat users. There is a toggle within the app’s settings that lets you decide to use either Twemoji or your device’s native emojis.

We do not know what this means for third-party Twitter apps. Some of them use EmojiCompat, so emoji fragmentation is not an issue, but that is not the case for all of them.