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Will the kiwi emoji wing its way onto your keyboard?

Will the kiwi emoji wing its way onto your keyboard?

Trade Me has today announced a plan to lobby the mysterious US-based Unicode Consortium for a new kiwi emoji, and wants New Zealand to help make it happen.

Trade Me community advisor Millie Silvester said the 2,666-character emoji library has become a universal language of communication. “Emojis are used in billions of text messages every day* and they’ve completely changed the way we interact with each other. We use emojis to express our feelings, emotions and even our identity.”

She said the beloved New Zealand kiwi was a “glaring omission” from the current emoji keyboard.

“All over the world people refer to us as Kiwis, but at the moment we have to make do with a kiwifruit or a flag emoji. So rather than just moaning about it, we're lobbying the Unicode Consortium to add a kiwi bird to the emoji keyboard and we’d love New Zealand emoji lovers to help us out too.”

The US has a bald eagle, China has a dragon, Australia has a koala (and a kangaroo soon too), but there is a very specific process for adding a new emoji. The Unicode Consortium - a non-profit organisation based in California - has devoted itself to standardising text in software. It requires a detailed six-page proposal including evidence of demand for the emoji, expected usage and the proposed placement of the new emoji within the keyboard.

Miss Silvester said Trade Me had taken on the project because it was something a good New Zealand tech company should do. “Our logo stars Kevin the kiwi, we love kiwis and we know the millions of Kiwis who use Trade Me do too. We hope New Zealanders will get behind our efforts and we think there will be plenty of support, especially when they hear a kangaroo emoji will be invading their emoji library soon.”

She said that if Taco Bell can get a taco emoji and Queensland can get a mango emoji, then New Zealand was in “with a good shot” with the kiwi emoji campaign.

“The kiwi emoji can’t take flight without New Zealand’s help. It’s a reasonably hardcore process for approval but we’ve made it easy to show support via the hashtag #kiwiemoji and those with a penchant for design can submit their proposed kiwi emoji design to too.”


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