The Washington Post

How to use emoji on Twitter

(Liza Nelson)

Twitter earlier this month unveiled support for emoji on the social network’s Web app, a move that was greeted by smileys across the Internet. That’s all well and good … if you’re on your phone. But using emoji on a desktop is a little more involved. Here’s a 30-second explainer.

1. If you’re on a Mac
First, make sure you have the latest version of OSX on your computer. (You can get it for free at the App Store.) Got it? You now have emoji support built in. On Twitter, hit command-control-space to bring up an emoji keyboard. It will look, conveniently, like the emoji keyboard on iPhone.

2. If you’re on a PC
You have two options here, depending on which browser you use. Like Chrome? Head over to the Chrome Web store and install the free Chromoji plug-in, which will let you view, copy and paste Mac-style emoji easily.

Prefer another browser? Woe is you: You’ll need to connect your Twitter to an app like, which will let you tweet whatever characters you want — but which will also plop an annoying link at the end of your tweets.

3. If nothing seems to work/you are desperate/you want something that will display across platforms
There’s a little-known hack that can get symbols into your tweets — and it’s actually been around since 2008, roughly 300 Internet-years ago. As The Next Web’s Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten explained way back then, Twitter is compatible with UTF8, the character-coding standard that governs much of the Web. That means a whole host of cute lil Webdings work not only on, but in Tweetdeck, on mobile and in embeds, as well. Behold:

Okay, so maybe they’re not quite as expansive as the emoji catalog, but, c’mon — flowers? Snowmen? Multiple chess pieces?!

Twitter, you don’t need emoji: You had them all along.☺

Caitlin Dewey is The Post’s digital culture critic. Follow her on Twitter @caitlindewey or subscribe to her daily newsletter on all things Internet. (



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