How to change Slack’s default emoji skin tone

How to change Slack’s default emoji skin tone

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I recently started a new job where my team hangs out on Slack often. We use emojis to get our point across faster, make the chats fun, and add a touch of emotion.

Slack’s default yellow skin tone for emojis definitely didn’t represent me. I am neither a Minion nor one of the Simpsons! Being of the Indian ethnicity I have a brown skin tone.

So I poked around to figure out how to change the default emoji skin tone from yellow to a shade of brown.

Fun facts about Emojis:

While at it, I was intrigued to learn more about Emojis. Here are a few things I found interesting.

  • There ia a Silicon-Valley-based small group called the Unicode Consortium that sets rules for how special characters like emoji should display across different platforms.
  • Emoji are approved and added to the official set by Unicode.
  • They set the Unicode for each of the emoji in black and white. The aesthetics for the emoji is decided by specific platforms or vendors.
  • The yellowish color is not supposed to be a skin tone but rather a default color.
  • To address the issue of diversity, Unicode created color swatches for with five skin tones, which also have codes. These color swatch codes are meant to be paired with existing emoji codes. The code for a color swatch can be paired with the code for a certain emoji to create the final emoji you see in your app.

Change Slack’s default emoji skin tone:

Note: I am using the Slack Web App. I assume the procedure is not too different for the Desktop app.

In any of the Slack channel, click on the smiley face icon in the Message text box.

This will open up the Emoji panel – the directory of Slack emojis.

Click the Hand icon at the bottom right corner of this panel.

Next, click on the skin tone that you want to use as the default for all your messages.

Once you select the skin tone, you will notice that every hand icon in the panel change to the skin tone you selected.

All other “body” emojis (hands, feet, ears, etc.) and people emojis will also now display in the skin tone you’ve selected.

Note: The standard face emojis (the smiley emojis)will remain yellow.