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Hail world's first black emoticons - PHOTOS

01 May 2014 [11:15] - TODAY.AZ
As in most aspects of life, timing in business is essential.

About one month ago, following complaints by celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Tahj Mowry over a lack a racial diversity in Apple's emojis (the cartoon-like icons used to spruce up text messages), a company executive told MTV that the tech giant was working to update its set of characters.

The news quickly had Twitter buzzing as people joined the #EmojiEthnicityUpdate discussions -- but that wasn't the end of the story.

Without wasting any time, a Mauritius-based app company called Oju Africa announced a few hours later that it had already tackled the lack of racial diversity by introducing its own set of Afro emoticons on Google Play Store.
The company said it had been working on the icons since late 2012 and was planning to officially launch them on April 10. Yet, the social media hype after Apple's response prompted them to speed up their release date -- trumping market-leading companies in the proce

"Within a couple of hours of seeing that, we put our press release out and we already claimed ownership -- that we have actually developed this already," chief executive Alpesh Patel told CNN. "It's very important for us, as a small African company, to make it known to the world that we were the first to do it."

The emoticons are designed to work on all Android platforms, and will shortly be available on iOS. The company, a division of mobile devices brand Mi-Fone, says that so far there've been more than 16,000 downloads, the majority of which have come from the United States.


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