Fluent Emojis Look Different To How You Last Saw Them

Fluent Emojis Look Different To How You Last Saw Them

Microsoft users subscribed to the Windows Insiders program can now install beta build introducing the much-anticipated new Fluent emoji set. However these look different to those originally previewed for World Emoji Day in July 2021.

Update: Microsoft's new 2D Fluent emoji set is now available in an update for Windows 11. As of February 2022, the 3D Fluent set is beginning to roll out to users of Microsoft Teams.


Above: a comparison of the current Windows 11 emoji set with today's Windows Insider "Fluent" designs and the originally previewed designs.

Today's Insider release makes note that that โ€œthe much-anticipated new Fluent emoji are now included in this build!โ€, but what this fails to mention is that these designs look quite different to the 3D-shaded designs we last saw.

It can be assumed that this is now the primary Fluent design style to be used in Windows 11 and Microsoft 365 platforms.

In previous announcements of the Fluent set, Microsoft did state that platforms such as Microsoft Teams will have animated versions of these emojis.

It might be the case that 3D glossy Fluent emoji designs previewed since World Emoji Day 2021 were renderings of the animated set that will be available on Microsoft Teams or other Microsoft communication platforms such as Skype in future updates.

At present, however, Microsoft Teams is using the flat-Fluent style, and there is no sign of any of the previewed glossy 3D designs.


Above: a selection of emojis sent within a Microsoft Teams message running on today's Windows Insider Preview build.

There may ultimately be two versions of the same emoji set - some flat, to be used as a font in text, and others glossy and animated, for messaging apps, stickers, and other areas.

Today, it's flat-Fluent all the way.


Above: a selection of the animated Fluent emojis designs previewed by Microsoft's design partner Tendril.

As anticipated, this Windows Insider build also debuts support for Emoji 13.1 for Windows.


Above: a selection of the new Emoji 13.1 designs in today's Windows Insider build.

When released at the start of this month, Windows 11 introduced support for 2019's Emoji 12.1 and 2020's Emoji 13.0, albeit in the platform's historic Segoe Color Emoji style that Windows has used since 2016's Microsoft Windows 10 Anniversary Update.


Above: the 255 emojis introduces to Microsoft via the official Windows 11 upgrade.

You can learn more about the new and updated emojis included in Windows 11's launch here.

This Windows Insider release also appears to no longer support a long-standing emoji easter egg within Microsoft platforms: the various ๐Ÿฑโ€๐Ÿ‘ค Ninja Cat emojis.


Each of the ๐Ÿฑโ€๐Ÿ‘ค Ninja Cat varients were previously implemented as proprietary zero width joiner (ZWJ) sequences, not supported by other vendors such as Apple or Google.

Now that Microsoft's Fluent set no longer supports these sequences, they are appearing as their component emojis (e.g. ๐Ÿฑ Cat Face and ๐Ÿ’ป Laptop for ๐Ÿฑโ€๐Ÿ’ป Hacker Cat), as they would have when viewed on non-Microsoft platforms.

Given the diverse locations that emojis can be found, has Microsoft struck a sensible balance for how it displays its new emojis? Some prefer the legibility of flat-style design, while others seem to enjoy the more emotive detailed designs.

We're still in the Insider phase now, so it may be worth waiting to see how this shakes out once these arrive for more users in the coming months.

๐Ÿ“ถ Release

Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22478 is now available to any Windows users subscribed to the Dev Channel of the Windows Insider program.

It is possible that these designs will make their debut via a Windows 11 update on the 11 November (11.11) - the original release date planned for the OS update. At present this is mere speculation, however.

As with all beta releases, these Fluent emoji images are subject to change ahead of an officially released update to Windows 11.

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