There are changes coming to emojis due to the coronavirus pandemic. Emojipedia reports Apple has made a small change in mask-wearing emoji in iOS 14.2, the upcoming update to Apple’s OS for iPhones, iPads and iPods. In its latest iteration, the mask-wearing emoji seems to be smiling.
Mask-wearing emoji were without a doubt the least known emoji of the emotional emojis. That was until the COVID-19 pandemic hit in full force in early 2020. The emojis – for obvious reasons – suddenly saw a resurgence when COVID-19 spread globally, and became one of the most popular emojis used in tweets related to pandemic.
The masking emoji does look a bit sick. And for good reason, since the use of masks was not common practice outside of places like Japan (where this emoji actually comes from) and other parts of Asia before the pandemic hit. Using masks has now become something positive – a way to stay healthy (and happy). This is also probably why Apple decided to make this change.
Businesses that come up with their own iterations of emoji are certainly nothing new, so this does not come as much of a surprise. Whether other companies will follow suit and make the same change to better match Apple’s updated emoji sets, as they have done repeatedly in the past, remains to be seen.
The new mask-wearing emoji will be available in iOS 14.2, along with a number of other new emoji such as baby-mate emoji. Thank you 2020, the year that just keeps on giving.