Google may be known for doing things its own way, but the decision to drop emoji support from its search results and apps could still take users by surprise.
A number of other large technology firms have recently announced plans to increase their support for emoji, including Microsoft and Instagram.
Google’s webmaster trends analyst John Mueller originally announced that the search engine was thinking about removing the offending pictographs back in May.
“I thought [emoji] looked really cool when I saw the first pages that were using that, but I think it’s really easy to overdo that, so I think it’s something we’ll take action on it at some point,” he said.
“By taking action, I don’t think that we will manually demote the sites using it, but we’ll have to just filter those symbols out of the search results. We do that already for an amount of existing Unicode symbols so that’s something I imagine we will be expanding over time.”
Now, Google has taken action by removing the icons from search results. Users are also not able to search using emoji.
However, other sites and web-based applications are becoming much more emoji-friendly. Instagram announced in April that users could now search for emoji hashtags, while Microsoft confirmed that its new operating system Windows 10 would launch with emoji support.
Read more: Emoji’s could be the future of passwords
If there is anyone out there who is devastated by Google’s new emoji filter, they can still use Bing and Yelp to get search results filled with smiley faces, hearts and aubergines.