Tinder announced this morning that he will launch a campaign called #RepresentLove, in collaboration with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and the founder of Emojination Jennifer 8. Lee, with the goal of asking Unicode to present emoji for interracial couples.
The Change.org petition says "Why is Tinder involved? We believe that all love deserves an emoji representation." Ohanian, who previously joined Lee to lobby for the addition of the emoji hijab, told Wired: "We want our children to have emojis that look like their parents." [Emoji] are the universal language of the internet and should reflect the modern world where interracial relationships are normal. "
This announcement comes just after Tinder commissioned a survey on the attitudes of users towards interracial relationships, whose results were announced along with the campaign. (Unfortunately, the information that Tinder chose to present is vague, for example, "77 percent of Tinder users are very open about who they came to when they use sites / applications." And a bit strange: "63 percent of Global respondents who dated someone from a different race said they were pushed to try new hobbies / activities. ")
The emoji have been customizable with various skin tone options since 2015, and Microsoft introduced 52,000 new emoji with the launch of Windows 10 in 2016, to account for all possible combinations in a family unit. But the family's various emoji units are still hard to create on all platforms: Facebook added 125 new familiar emoji options last summer, none of them interracial. Currently, to make an interracial family on iOS, you have to make careful personalization and sequencing. And since Microsoft never imagined organizing 52,000 emoji on the Windows keyboard, that means a lot of copying and pasting as well.
According to Wired, Tinder's proposal will be quite simple: three new skin tones for both versions of the emoji of the pre-existing couple. Counting all the combinations, that would mean the addition of 21 new emoji. Lee, whose project Emojination emoji-diversification has also collaborated with the Chinese web company Baidu to add the red emoji envelope, the Finnish government to add a sauna emoji and Kickstarter to add an emoji dumpling, will draft the official proposal to send to Unicode.
Still, the Tinder campaign website recognizes that the process for adding these emoji could take a long time: "It can take up to two years for a proposed emoji to complete the review, approval and standardization process." That does not even include the time it would take the emoji to be implemented on all platforms.
There is a precedent for brands to lobby for Unicode approval through the Change.org campaign and the public campaign. Taco Bell managed to add a taco emoji to his keyboard, although when he launched his campaign, the consortium was already considering the taco.