By Renae Reints
October 11, 2018

Twitter has updated its code, allowing all emojis to register as an equal number of characters, regardless of skin tone or gender, the company announced Wednesday.

Previously, the way emoji were encoded would lead to varying character counts, causing confusion and difficulty on a platform where you’re only permitted 280 characters per post. The blog Emojipedia reports that in the old system, a default gold-skinned emoji would count as 2 characters, while the same emoji with a specific skin tone and gender would count as 7 characters; a flag emoji could count as up to 14 characters.

The issue arose due to the way individual emoji could be combined to make a more specific icon, The Verge reports. For example, “man” and “cooking” are joined to make “man cook.” The system gets even more complicated with family emoji, since they can have varying numbers of people and skin tones.

Now, thanks to the update, all emoji will represent two characters, allowing users to use any emoji they’d like without being penalized in the character count.

“Moving forward, in support of recent updates to Unicode, Twitter will now count all emojis equally, including those with gender and skin tone modifiers,” wrote a Twitter staff member in the announcement. “This update marks significant progress for our service, and everyone can now benefit from the additional room to express themselves with more characters (or more emojis).”

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