Remember Clippy, the whimsical paperclip assistant included in older versions of Microsoft Office? Well, Clippy is back. Well, kind of.
Microsoft understands that most people were happy to see the interactive animated character disappear from their office suite of choice. Still, the company’s designers just couldn’t resist included it in the refreshed set of 1,800+ emoji that will soon make its way into Windows, Office, and other Microsoft 365 products, including Teams.
All new emoji are rendered in beautiful 3D, and the majority of them are animated to make them even more fun to use when instant messaging with friends, discussing work with colleagues, or planning the new next family get-together.
“Body language, subtle forms of humor, or environmental conditions — while we can see and respond to those cues those in-person, the loss of them in digital contexts impacts our communication greatly. With emoji, however, a few pixels can telegraph our thoughts and feelings in ways that are fun, clear, and emotionally resonant,” Claire Anderson, Art Director & Emojiologist at Microsoft, commented the role emoji have come to play in our modern lives.
The design principles that guided the look and feel of Microsoft’s new emoji revolve around emotional honesty and playfulness. The goal is to empower all users of Microsoft products to express themselves as openly and naturally as possible, even when separated by borders or even entire continents.
Also Read: Windows 11 Is Coming: Here’s What To Expect
Microsoft’s design principles are based on a substantial body of research suggesting that play encourages innovation. It will be interesting to see how the users of Microsoft products from around the world will put the new emoji set to use. Perhaps, it will really help them unlock their creative potential and nurture stronger relationships with the people they communicate with on a regular basis.
Spotify Is Experimenting With Artist NFT Collections
According to a recent survey, it seems that the currently tested NFT collections are just the first step toward a much broader implementation of NFTs into the platform.
NFT sales may have declined by 92 percent since September 2021, but that’s not stopping Spotify from experimenting with a new feature that lets artists display their non-fungible token (NFT) collections on the music streaming platform.
At the moment, only a small group of artists are taking part in the experiment, including Steve Aoki and The Wombats. What’s more, only select US users of the Spotify app for Android can see NFTs when they visit the profile pages of the aforementioned artists.
“Spotify is running a test in which it will help a small group of artists promote their existing third-party NFT offerings via their artist profiles,” said Spotify spokesperson. “We routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve artist and fan experiences.”
It’s important to point out that not all Spotify experiments result in new features. It all depends on the feedback the music streaming platform receives from users.
According to a survey some Spotify users have recently received, it seems that the currently tested NFT collections are just the first step toward a much broader implementation of NFTs into the platform. More specifically, Spotify seems to be thinking about allowing its users to directly purchase NFT art to support their favorite artists.
Considering how polarizing NFTs have been since their inception in 2014, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many Spotify users have immediately expressed their dissatisfaction with the idea of NFTs becoming part of the Spotify music listening experience.
Other large tech companies are also experimenting with NFTs. Instagram, for example, started testing NFT integration last week, allowing NFT creators and collectors to display their tokens on the platform. Mark Zuckerberg himself believes that NFTs and digital collectibles in general will play an integral role in the metaverse, the new iteration of the internet.