Following the news that Google is replacing its pistol emoji into a water pistol, two more companies have decided to do the same. Both Facebook and Microsoft have openly announced plans to follow suit.
The growing trend has been seen by a variety of companies over the last few years. Apple had been the first to start the trend in 2016, with tech giants like Samsung and Twitter following its lead. Facebook and Microsoft are the last two companies to make the official switch from the original gun emoji to the water pistol.
But it’s important to note that Microsoft originally displayed its gun emoji as a ray gun back in 2013. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to take off and the company reverted back the same year Apple made the switch.
According to Business Insider, a Facebook spokesperson explained that the company is making the change in order to stay consistent and to avoid confusion. It plans to discuss consistency as a whole when it comes to all tech brands with the Unicode Consortium.
Meanwhile, Microsoft took to Twitter to announce the changes it’s making to the gun emoji. The tweet included a preview of what the new emoji will look like and a brief blurb behind why it’s making the switch. But the company has yet to release information on when exactly the water pistol will be available on Windows 10.
We are in the process of evolving our emojis to reflect our values and the feedback we’ve received. Here’s a preview: pic.twitter.com/BlB3yYTSht
— Microsoft (@Microsoft) April 25, 2018
As for the aesthetic of the new water pistol emojis, mostly all of the companies are sticking to the same design. Apple, Samsung, and Twitter all have a similar green and yellow design. The only company to go against the grain a bit was Google, whose water pistol looks far more like a Super Soaker and also boasts an orange color. According to Microsoft’s preview, it seems the company went for more of a hybrid among the existing versions — combining the super soaker design with a green, yellow, and orange color scheme.
It makes sense that these tech companies want to make the change to provide uniformity for its users across all brands but it also comes at an interesting time. With conversations of gun control and violence on the rise in the United States, it’s also a way to take a less controversial stance on the matter.