LGBTQ+ Pride Month

Introducing 'Memojis,' The Gender-Neutral Customizable Emoji

The announcement was met with many 👍 , 🙌, and 💖.

We all love the tiny, playful symbols that are Emojis because they can be so much more than cute little illustrations. They help us communicate — sometimes to the point where they replace words. So, having an inclusive range of emojis that represent its users is paramount. 

At the 2018 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote on June 4, Apple made a big announcement about inclusive emojis with its first iOS 12 beta release. 

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Apple revealed it is launching customizable emojis called memojis — and they are gender-neutral.

The announcement was met with many 👍 , 🙌, and 💖.

Refinery29 pointed out that the AR Emoji on Samsung's Galaxy S9 and S9+ has customizable features but you must identify the avatar as male or female before starting the customizing process.

That doesn't appear to be the case with the Apple memojis. The new iOS 12 doesn't launch until later this year, according to Apple Insider, but previews for it show that users can customize their memoji from the very beginning without having to identify a gender.

CNET reports that the design-your-own avatar emojis have evolved off the animal-inspired Animoji which was released on the iPhone X in 2017. The memojis scan a user's face, enabling that avatar to mimic their expressions and facial moments, right down to blinks. Users are then able to customize their memojis how they please.

The great thing is that users have a variety of inclusive choices including picking a skin tone from a slider bar and choosing a range of hairstyles which are all grouped together.

From there, users have a plethora of options, including selecting age, hair color, adding freckles, wrinkles, hats, and glasses. It's so detailed that there are options right down to selecting different types of chins and eyelashes.

If someone wants to create their memoji with blue skin, red eyes and green hair, they can.

Some people on social media are already showing off their own one-of-a-kind memojis that celebrate their individuality.

With emojis rising in popularity, there have been updates in an effort to make them more inclusive, although critics have pointed out that the releases have been slow since emojis first officially came onto the (virtual) scene in 2011. For example, it was only recently that the announcement of redhead emojis was made.

Prior to that, Apple previewed more inclusive emojis including those featuring hijabs and mothers nursing babies, in honor of #WorldEmojiDay 2017. It was in March 2018, that Apple proposed 13 emojis to represent people with disabilities.

The memojis are one of the most inclusive announcements yet as users will be able to create avatars that look like them without having to put any limiting labels on them.

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