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Smile! Twitter rolls out emoticons

Get ready for your inner tween to squeal with delight, Twitter users. Your favourite micro-blogging service now supports emoticons on the Web.

Until now, you could view emoticons on Twitter's apps for Android and iOS, but they appeared as little empty boxes on the Web. With the latest update, you'll now be able to see emoticons in all their colourful, expressive glory on your desktop as well, Twitter announced Wednesday.

At this point, emoticons are only showing up in black and white in embedded tweets. There also seems to be a glitch on Tweetdeck preventing some users from being able to view emoticons, though a fix is reportedly expected soon.

Emoticons might seem innocent enough, but the little icons have been the subject of controversy as of late.

Apple's library of characters covers a pretty wide range — from Asian and Muslim to gay and straight — but there are few options to depict African-Americans. After fielding user complaints, Apple said it is taking steps to fill the diversity gap, though it has not given any indication of when that might happen.

The last major iOS emoji update came in 2012, when Apple released iOS 6, with the addition of two new images representing gay and lesbian couples — two men and two women holding hands. The symbols appear between a traditional heterosexual family and a man and woman kissing under a heart.

Meanwhile, the expanded emoji support on Twitter comes after the company last week updated its iPhone and Android apps to enable photo tagging, meaning you now can identify the people in your photos without eating away at the character count. The update also lets you share up to four images in a single tweet.