Apple and Google Have Ditched Their Realistic Gun Emojis. Only 1 Company Still Uses It
With Google’s switch from a handgun emoji to a toy water gun and Facebook’s impending plans to do the same, only one major company will use a traditional pistol emoji the way things currently stand.
Google began rolling out the update on Android systems this week and a Facebook spokesperson confirmed the company’s intentions to Emojipedia. With both following the lead of Apple, Twitter, Samsung, and WhatsApp, it appears Microsoft will be the lone platform using a handgun. Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fortune asking if the company had plans to make the update as well.
Interestingly, Microsoft had originally been the first of the companies to use a toy gun emoji resembling an alien ray-gun of sorts, dating back to 2013. But the company opted to switch to a realistic-looking revolver in 2016 as part of a redesign.
So what happened to the gun emoji? Many companies began ditching the handgun symbol following a wave of mass shootings and terror attacks. Calls for gun safety and reform have only intensified as part of the national conversation following the Parkland, Fla. school shooting in February, which consequently birthed the #NeverAgain movement.
In 2016, Apple led the pack and was the first company to switch its gun emoji to a squirt gun, which has since been replicated by the other big tech players.