Microsoft has open-sourced over 1,500 of its 3D emojis, now free for everyone. Starting today, almost the entire Microsoft library of 1538 Fluent emoji will be available on Figma and GitHub, which Microsoft hopes will encourage more creativity and inclusion in the emoji space.
Microsoft released its emojis in Windows 11 last year and 3D versions of them in Microsoft Teams in February, the company didn’t originally plan to open source its library. “Originally, we were focused on building the foundation,” says John Friedman, Microsoft’s CVP of Design and Research. “But the idea was just in the air, and it was in line with our belief and point of view that the more open source we have inside and out, the more perfect products we can create and the more relevant we can be to all of humanity.”
Now Microsoft wants other creators to explore new ways to use the signature emoji. “Inside Microsoft, we are one design community with very little to do or see,” Friedman explains. “We have a desire to engage the community to help us see and do more of what is of global importance, that reaches people in unique ways.”
Developers can take most of Microsoft’s bright and colorful 3D emoji and turn them into stickers, use them in content, or create unique emoji sets. “I think we will see things that are really unique and specific, and then I think we will see ideas that are really broadly applicable,” says Friedman. “When we were making icons for our apps years ago, there were people who were making Marvel versions of our icons. It was amazing. It was just a great creative expression.”
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