Microsoft is open sourcing a complete suite of three-dimensional (3D) emojis — small digital icons used to express an idea or emotion — making them available for creators to remix them into stickers, use them in content, or create unique sets of emojis.
A total of 1,538 emojis with 3D effects will be available on open-source software development platforms, Figma and GitHub, in a move that Microsoft hopes will “encourage more creativity and inclusivity in the emoji space”, as per a report published in The Verge.
While Microsoft released its emoji in Windows 11 last year and 3D versions in Microsoft Teams in February, the company did not have plans to open source its work.
“Initially, we were focused on building the body of work,” Jon Friedman, Microsoft’s CVP of design and research, said in an interview with the news site.
“The idea kind of just started popping around, and it aligned with our belief and perspective that the more open source we are internally and externally, the more product excellence we can build, and the more relevant we can be for all of humanity,” he added.
As per the report, Microsoft spent a lot of time on inclusive design and the varied needs of emojis that span across different people, religions, and countries.
Even Clippy was introduced as a replacement for the paper clip emoji, but that’s one of a few that won’t be open sourced simply because of legal requirements around Microsoft's trademarks, the report said.
The 3D emojis are yet to appear on apps like Teams. However, users have to upgrade to Windows 11 to get new emojis. Microsoft does not plan to bring them to Windows 10, the tech major said, which recently marked the 15th anniversary of OneDrive by announcing a new landing page design.