New Plugin Adds Open Source Emoji One Support to WordPress

emoji-one

Emoji One is a new open source emoji set that is the first of its kind, designed specifically for the web. The set boasts more than 840 emoji. It was created to solve the perennial problem of translating emoji code from mobile devices while legally displaying the corresponding emoji icon on the web. The idea is to avoid displaying those ugly blank squares that you see so often, as illustrated on the Emoji One website:

emoji-one-problem-1

Emoji One was also created to provide consistency across various mobile and web platforms. As things currently stand, you tend to get a slight variation in display depending on the mobile platform used to input the emoji.

emoji-one-problem-2

Emoji One is tackling both of these problems head on with its new open source emoji set. It’s released under the MIT license, which is GPL-compatible. Check out a live demo of Emoji One to see the set in action.

WP Emoji One

WP Emoji One is the first plugin to bring Emoji One support to WordPress posts and pages. It is based on work from the TypePad Emoji For TinyMCE plugin. The emoji chooser can be launched via a button added to the visual editor.

visual-editor-emoji-one

Clicking on the button opens a modal window with the Emoji One library, along with the option to choose the pixel size of the emoji inserted into the content.

emoji-one-modal

You don’t have to install anything on your mobile device to use Emoji One; just continue to use emoji as you have been. The WordPress plugin simply provides a more consistent experience for displaying emoji on the web.

I checked with the WP Emoji One plugin author to inquire about using the emoji in comments. He plans to add them to comments in the next release. BuddyPress and bbPress integration would also be very handy, as social sites are likely to derive greater benefits from offering emoji support.

Emoji One only recently launched on September 11, 2014. The team is currently working on creating the 250 new emojis that Unicode approved in June 2014, and will make those available soon.

You may have already seen Emjoi One icons in the wild here and there. The WordPress-powered Emoji One blog recently highlighted Slack’s integration of Emoji One as one of its default emoji options. As more companies and services begin to recognize the need for a universal emoji set, you can expect to see Emoji One popping up around the web in more places.

Better emoji support may someday find its way into WordPress core with enough popular support. In the meantime, you can use WP Emoji One to extend WordPress’ capabilities to provide a more consistent and colorful emoji display on your site.

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9 Comments


  1. Looks cool. Unfortunately, the emoji icons are licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0 according to th Emoji One Web site, which is incompatible with the GPL. I could see this getting pulled from the plugin repo, which requires 100% GPL compatibility.

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    1. Yeah that might be an issue – odd that the icons themselves have a different license than the emoji set as a whole.

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  2. Thanks for pointing this out! We had quite a difficult time trying to figure out all the licensing options prior to launch. It was especially difficult because we were distributing both software (to convert the names/shortcodes to the appropriate emoji image file name) and the emoji artwork/fonts, which seemed to require different licensing structure. Someone wanting to use our conversion scripts on their website needed pretty different wording than someone wanting to use our emoji on t-shirts they wanted to sell, for instance.

    We were fortunate enough to have a little guidance from one of WordPress’ general counsel on the different licensing options and how it would affect our ability to work with them down the road. We’ve sent another note to them just now to see if we are still looking okay in that regard, and we’ll update things accordingly if changes are needed.

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    1. Sounds good. As long as you’re communicating from someone on the WordPress.org side of things, you should be good.

      The thing I see is that you’re distributing the icons under the GPL on WordPress.org, so someone could use those icons packaged within the plugin under the GPL with all the freedoms that it entails. The CC-BY-SA license seems rather useless to me if I can go get the same icons under a license with more freedoms. I may be missing something though.

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      1. For sure. It’s made even more complicated by the fact that we didn’t create the plugin itself, but rather someone else made the plugin using our set of emoji. Unfortunately we don’t have enough resources to make all of the addons and extensions we’d like to, but we hope others come along and use the emoji for their own creations at least, like what happened here.

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    1. Everything’s perfectly legal. The issue I brought up above was a matter of WordPress.org policy.

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  3. This is great! I love the emotes. I just used this on a BBPress forum with the enable TinyMCE Visual Tab Plugin and now there’s emotes on the front-end for the forums! Awesome – thanks for the plugin idea.

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