Emojis Displaying from a Different Set?

Our emojis seem to have changed from JoyPixels (formerly known as EmojiOne) to the Twitter emoji set :confused:

This last emoji, for example, is pulling the URL https://emoji.discourse-cdn.com/twitter/confused.png?v=9 rather than https://emoji.discourse-cdn.com/emoji_one/confused.png?v=9, which is what we had until partway through yesterday.

I know we go through updates from time to time as the provider releases a new version, but this is switching us over to a different set of emojis altogether. What’s going on?

I also notice that old posts, those more than a couple months old, are still displaying the JoyPixels emojis as before. However, the Twitter emojis are encroaching; as I’ve been watching over the last several hours, the Twitter ones are extending into older and older posts.

I’ve gotta say, I did like having the only emoji provider whose :hugs: actually looked like hugging (image)

This is similar to a glitch we had a few years ago when the emoji providers got mixed up and we got some even odder emojis then. Is this another bug?

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Oh, no the emoji glitch again. I hated it.

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Right now, our forum admin tool is offering us a choice of these emoji sets:

  • Apple/International
  • Google
  • Twitter ← This is the currently selected one
  • Win10
  • Google Classic
  • Facebook Messenger

I’m not sure what happened to JoyPixels/EmojiOne. I’ll contact the Discourse team for support.

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Well, they got back to me, and the news isn’t great. Apparently JoyPixels wants to charge the Discourse team for the use of their emojis, and it looks pretty pricey. https://www.joypixels.com/licenses/pricing

You can see samples of all of the emoji types on Emojipedia, e.g. https://emojipedia.org/hugging-face/ (I definitely agree that JoyPixels’ hugging emoji is the only good one.)

I think what we’ll do is let folks discuss a bit here in this thread and then we’ll probably run a poll to see which emoji set y’all like best out of the six listed above?

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Disappointing news, but thanks for finding out :sweat_smile: I guess things have changed since 2015, when they made it their default…

So we were very excited when Emoji One came along with an explicitly open source set of Emoji images, free for everyone! We immediately made Emoji One our default Emoji set.

No more :pensive:

Okay, I think I can get a sampling by checking out URLs…

Apple: image image image image image image image image image image image
Google: image image image image image image image image image image image
Twitter: image image image image image image image image image image image
Win10: image image image image image image image image image image image
Google Classic: image image image image image image image image image image image
Facebook Messenger: image image image image image image image image image image image

The format to check these is ![image|20x20](https://emoji.discourse-cdn.com/name of provider/name of emoji.png?v=9)

If we do a poll, I’d definitely suggest a “check however many you want” rather than a “check your top choice” given the larger number of options and to prevent vote splitting.

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Although Discourse never implemented some of the emojii’s correctly anyway, like the male elf and vampire alternatives.

Out of the ones currently on offer I’d vote for the Google one, Twitter’s always look really ugly and blobby to me.

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Well, I’d probably favor Twitter as the top choice because I think it makes the best use of space. The expressions are distinct and easily recognizable at a glance even when reduced to the 20x20 dimensions that would apply in forum posts. Many of the others are designed well enough when viewed at a larger scale but end up compressed and harder to make out at Discourse sizes. This is especially noticeable with the blush emoji; it’s easy to see that the Twitter version is blushing, but it’s much subtler with the other ones, which come off more as if they’re just relaxed and smiling. And the facial features of the Twitter versions are fairly large, easing recognition.

Twitter emojis are also similar to previous versions of EmojiOne, like we used to have on this forum, before it went 3D.

I’d rate Google and Facebook Messenger as tied for second, as they’re still mostly prominent, but the shading details means a little less room for facial feature detail.

I’d rate Apple a little below those two, as I don’t think it makes as good use of available space when shrunk; they just end up looking tinier than the rest.

Google Classic are weirdly cute, but they’re harder to tell apart—look how similar confused and rage are—and I’d find them rather distracting.

Win10 is distinct for those prominent black outlines, which I have rather mixed feelings about.

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I’ve started a poll.

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I’d rate them:

Twitter = Facebook Messenger > Google > Apple > Google Classic > Windows 10, although I’d be fine with any of the top four.

Thoughts

Twitter: minimal, flat, and modern. The minimalism and slightly-larger facial features give them the best overall clarity, IMO. However, the lack of borders/shading/shadows means their emoji have the least contrast when the emoji color is similar to the background color. E.g., the skin tone 2 emoji on a white background.

Screen Shot 2021-03-25 at 10.39.53 AM


Facebook Messenger: more detailed shading makes the facial expressions slightly less clear, but improves their emoji’s contrast against backgrounds. This is a pretty good trade in my book, so they tie with Twitter for being my favorite option. I really don’t understand what happened here though:

image image


Google: while I personally think the gradient is very dated looking, they’re decent. Very similar shading to Facebook’s, but Facebook’s drop shadows and greater willingness to “break the outline” gives them a slight edge in clarity. E.g.,

image image


Apple: a lot of details and look the most 3D. While pretty, it makes everything look smaller. However, I do think their skin-tone emoji have the best clarity and contrast. They are also the most consistently designed.


Google Classic: aka the blobs/thumbs. I admit I have a soft spot for these guys; they look like little slimes.

(The older versions looked even more like little slimes.)

But since they’re discontinued, they don’t have and won’t get any of the newer emoji. Discourse is using Twitter’s emoji to fill in some of the gaps, but I’d prefer to go with Twitter’s in the first place.


Windows 10: they sure are… something, alright. I’m really not a fan of that black border. It eats into the size of the emoji and the negative space around the emoji, reducing clarity substantially.

They’re semi-passable on mobile, but truly awful on desktop, when you’re further away from the screen.

image image

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Twitter won the poll, so we’ll stick with that.

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