Smithsonian Design Museum Acquires Tinder’s Interracial Couple Emojis

Written by Dominic Whitlock

The iconic Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum has acquired non-exclusive rights to the interracial couple emojis, a series of symbols created after Tinder’s #RepresentLove campaign.

In 2017, Tinder started a push for the inclusion of emojis that featured couples with varying skin tones. It was largely inspired by research that suggested the rising popularity of dating apps was having a positive impact on the number of interracial relationships.

Updates were added to the official emoji index in March 2019 after receiving approval from Unicode Consortium regulators.

The Smithsonian made the acquisition to document the important cultural role of the designs. It now has a license to reproduce and display the images to the public.

Tinder’s VP Creative Maris Bodell said in a statement: “Our #RepresentLove victory marked a major milestone that pushed for a more accurate reflection of relationships and the world. To have that movement recognized by the Smithsonian Institution…you can’t get much bigger than that!”

The hijab emoji, officially known as ‘person with a headscarf’, was also obtained to represent female Muslims around the world.

Andrea Lipps, Associate Curator of Contemporary Design, added: “These are the first emoji acquired into the museum’s burgeoning digital collection and represent continued improvements in emoji’s vocabulary, demonstrating the growth of inclusion and representation among users, couples, and communities in thoughtfully designed pictographs.”

According to Tinder’s annual ‘Year In Swipe’ report, the ‘person shrugging’ emoji was the app’s most popular in 2020. It’s believed to be representative of the world’s feeling towards the uncertainty of the year.

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