I’m personally not a fan, but there is an entire generation of message-savvy folks who regularly use emoticons (emojis) in their daily mobile-centric conversations to graphically convey thoughts or emotions not easily captured with words only. Either that, or they’re just plain old fun to use.
Your typical emoji is circular in shape and yellow in color, but if you dig deeper into most smartphone keyboards that utilize emojis, you will find many that use Caucasian colors, emotions and expressions. Taking into account the rise in popularity of emojis, and their lack of diversity (par for the course), two brothers and Howard University grads created the WeMojis™ app that adds more diverse emoji options.
“We are elated to finally introduce this culturally relevant set of emoticons to the world. While others have chased the concept of ‘diverse emoji’s’, we took our time to create a universal model that encompasses not only faces but cultural nuances as well,” said WeMojis™ CEO and Co-Founder, Trey Brown.
Indeed, with the latest iOS 8.3 operating system update, Apple “tried it” and added some multi-color emojis to its iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch keyboards, but according to Alpesh Patel, CEO of an African-based emoji company, Apple only added different colors to the same old emoji. “Diversity is not about skin color, it’s about embracing the multiple cultures out there that have no digital representation.”
WeMojis™, on the other hand, brings together a comprehensive set of carefully curated images that are not currently represented on other native and 3rd-Party keyboards. After downloading the app and adding it as a new keyboard in my iPhone’s “General” settings (don’t forget to also “Allow Full Access” to the WeMojis™ keyboard), “comprehensive” isn’t the half of all the options available to liven up your messaging game. There are many different shades of emojis, all with different looks and hairstyles.
And let me not get started on all the diverse expressions. All your typical expressions are present. The WeMojis™ app ups the ante and adds culturally relevant pictures and symbols like Greek Fraternity and Sorority hand signs, to country flags representing diverse populations, to even a high emoji. You read that right – for the 420 crowd, you get an emoji too. For the ladies, there’s a Sistah emoji that has a head scarf on. It could symbolize a headdress that many women of different cultures or ethnicities wear, or homegirl has wrapped her hair up before she went to sleep…Much to the dismay of all the Brothas who can’t seem to “get excited” with his lady’s hair wrapped tighter than [insert sexual metaphor here]. These guys will just have to speak for themselves because personally…
“WeMojis™ is a brand that has vast potential for growth and expansion into other sectors. There are many different ethnic groups and subcultures that have their own unique ‘languages’. – Our goal is to translate those languages into digital communication using images,” Co-Founder and Director of Marketing Donovan Brown added. With our need to “[add an emoji] so I know it’s real” during mobile messaging conversations, there is no doubt that developing an app that solves a problem so simple, yet so deep as culturally-relevant emoticons, the WeMojis™ app will do quite well.
WeMojis™ Keyboard is free (for now) to download for iPhone. The Android app “coming soon”