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Facebook Messenger gets emoji-crazy (now with redheads, too)

Just like their Apple and Google counterparts, the tiny picture symbols are more diverse and include better representations of women.

Women are well represented among the new emojis of Facebook Messenger.


If you want to text a friend that you're having pizza and beer, sure, you could type all of that out. Or you could go full-millennial and send a two-tap response: the pizza emoji and the beer one.

The point is emojis are everywhere. And now Facebook is bringing its own specially designed set of the tiny picture symbols to its chat app, Messenger.

On Wednesday, Facebook introduced 1,500 new emojis to the service. The social network said it tried to make them as diverse as possible. That means people with different skin tones and more representations of women, including a female police officer, runner and swimmer. For the first time, too, there are emojis with red hair.

Before today, you could technically already use emojis on Messenger, but only through software on your phone itself and not directly through Facebook's messaging app. That meant that if you sent an emoji on an iPhone that wasn't available on Android, the recipient would only see a box with a question mark in it, and vice versa. (But Messenger did already have stickers -- bigger, more detailed versions of emojis, drawn by various artists.)

Facebook Messenger's new emojis work across iPhones and Android phones.


Facebook isn't the first to push the emoji horde into more diverse territory. You can already choose different skin tones on Apple's iOS and Google's Android. With the next version of Android, for now known just as N, you'll also be able to choose more depictions of working women.

The war of the chat apps has been heating up in Silicon Valley as a new generation of chat apps, including Snapchat and Kik jostle for a leg up. Google last month announced its own new chat app called Allo, centered on artificial intelligence. Meanwhile, Facebook has been making other big investments in Messenger. In April, the company said it was bringing more chatbots to Messenger to act like customer service reps, so you don't have to talk to big brands on the phone.

Did we mention that emojis are everywhere? Facebook said nearly 10 percent of all messages on its chat app, used by more than 900 million people every month, contain emojis.

Another anecdotal sign that we're hitting peak-emoji: My dad has begun using them. So yeah, they are everywhere.