(IMAGE: MASHABLE COMPOSITE)
2018 could be the year of changeable emoji directions. This. Is. Huge.
Emojipedia reports that a just-published proposed update to Unicode’s emoji documentation features a new recommendation about a “mechanism for providing emoji direction.”
“Emoji with glyphs that face to the right or left may face either direction, according to vendor preference,” reads a new section of the document. “However, that can cause a definite change in meaning when exchanging text across platforms.”
Now that might sound like a load of meaningless jargon. But, essentially it means we’ll be able to choose an “explicit direction” for certain emoji. You’ll be able to make your runner emoji run from left to right.
Emojipedia editor Jeremy Burge—who’s vice-chair of Unicode’s Emoji Subcommittee—says “changing emoji directions” was one of the top requests from Emojipedia users this year.
“It’s particularly frustrating for users of left-right languages (like English) trying to brag about travel when the train and car point left on iOS, but the plane points right!” says Burge.
Burge notes that the changing emoji directions is at “a pretty early stage right now.”
“Unicode have chosen a way to handle emoji directions but no specific emojis have been called out to support this,” he says, adding that this step could happen “any time now.”
“In short: it’s certainly possible for 2018, but I wouldn’t count on it!”
Fingers crossed, people!