The Unicode Consortium, aka the folks who decide what emoji end up on your smartphone, added a proposal to its 2018 emoji list for a mechanism that allows users to change the direction of its ubiquitous icons.
“Emoji with glyphs that face to the right or left may face either direction, according to vendor preference. However, that can cause a definite change in meaning when exchanging text across platforms,” Unicode writes.
In other words, you may soon be able to switch the direction of an emoji straight from your iPhone or Android smartphone.
This is a total game changer. Not convinced? Check out these five things you can do with reversible emoji:
1. This goes without saying.
2. Full rainbow (or double rainbow if you want to get crazy).
3. Welcome to the gun show.
4. Reverse “Dashing Away” + “Perseverance Face” + “Dashing Away” = exploding head.
5. The 100 emoji just wouldn’t be the same.
Jeremy Burger, vice chair of Unicode’s Emoji subcommittee, told Mashable changing emoji is in a “pretty early stage right now.”
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“Unicode have chosen a way to handle emoji directions but no specific emojis have been called out to support this,” Burger said.
He thinks it’s possible, but not likely, that reversible emoji will appear on your smartphone in 2018. The emoji guidelines are expected to be approved in the second half of next year and become available to smartphone manufacturers in September to decide which, if any, emoji get the reverse treatment.