Google introduced the blobs as part of its Android KitKat mobile operating system in 2013. The next year, Google expanded the blob style to include the emojis that normally depict humans. As an example, instead of a flamenco dancer in Apple emoji style and its derivates, Google's blob style showed a less glamorous blob with a rose in its teeth. In 2016, Google redesigned the blobs into a gumdrop-shape. As Unicode, the group that establishes emoji standards, introduced skin tone and gender options to emojis, Google's emojis progressively appeared more as humans and less as yellow, amorphous blobs. Google retired the blobs in 2017 with the release of Android Oreo in favor of circular emojis similar in style to that of other platforms. Consistent cross-platform emoji interpretation was among the redesign's primary aims. The redesign, which had been in development for about a year, mimicked an Apple effort to include more detail in the emoji glyph and offer yellow skin tone as the default.
Since 2017, there have been multiple efforts to maintain the blob emoji after Google retired them, one of which is Blobmoji, which aims to continue development of the emoji on its pre-redesign state. There is also a community on Discord that has been hosting blobs as custom emoji for the platform while also making original work in the same style.
The blob emoji were a divisive feature between 2013 and 2017. Proponents praised their novel interpretation of emoji ideograms while detractors criticized the miscommunication that results when emoji are interpreted differently across platforms.
- Hern, Alex (May 23, 2017). "Google is killing off Android's emoji blobs". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
- "Noto Emoji with extended Blob support". GitHub.
- "Blob Emoji". blobs.gg. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
- Garun, Natt (July 17, 2018). "Google revives blobs, its correct emoji, as sticker packs on Gboard and Android Messages". The Verge. Archived from the original on October 27, 2018. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
- Brant, Tom (May 19, 2017). "The End Is Near for Google's Blob Emoji". PC Magazine. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
- Carey, Bridget (April 19, 2016). "As Apple paints MacBook pink, Android's emoji blobs get a makeover". CNET. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
- Garun, Natt (July 17, 2018). "Google revives its blob emoji as sticker packs on Gboard and Android Messages". The Verge. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
- Garun, Natt (May 25, 2017). "Google's blob emoji are great and no one will convince me otherwise". The Verge. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
- Goldman, David (May 18, 2017). "Google kills its hideous blob emojis". CNNMoney. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
- Mix (May 18, 2017). "Google is redesigning its awful blob emoji for the new Android O". The Next Web. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
- Kircher, Madison Malone (May 17, 2017). "Google's Blob Emoji Get Sad, Circular Redesign". Select All. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
- Stinson, Elizabeth (September 1, 2017). "Say Goodbye to the Blob. Google's New Emoji Have Arrived". Wired. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- Tibken, Shara (May 18, 2017). "Google's emoji to get much needed redesign in Android O". CNET. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
- Welch, Chris (July 17, 2017). "Google is using the impending death of its blob emoji to promote Allo". The Verge. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
- Media related to Blob emoji at Wikimedia Commons