Yes, you can include emojis in your messages through GatewayAPI. Because emojis are unicode characters, UCS-2 encoding is required though. This impacts the character count and number of segments in your SMS.
Using emojis through UCS-2 encoding
Instead of the default GSM-7 encoding, you must use UCS-2 encoding to send an SMS message where an emoji is included. UCS-2 encoding allows for a wider range of characters, such as emojis, compared to the more limited character set of GSM-7 encoding.
Does the use of an emoji affect the price of my SMS?
There is no direct cost associated with the use of emojis in your message. However, it’s important to understand that our pricing is determined by the number of segments that your message consists of. A GSM-7 encoded SMS message can include up to 160 characters, whereas a UCS-2 encoded SMS message can only contain up to 70 standard characters within a single segment. Using an emoji, which requires two characters from the 70-character limit, will thus increase the segment count.
In other words, while you may have sent just one message consisting of e.g. 220 characters, some of them being emojis, it will actually consist of four segments. You will therefore also be charged for the price of four SMS messages.
If no emojis are included in the message, you will only be charged for two SMS messages since the GSM-7 character set allows more characters within a single segment. Learn more about character limits based on encoding here.
In summary, while using an emoji doesn’t directly increase the cost of your SMS, it requires the use of UCS-2 encoding, which reduces your character limit to 70 per segment. Therefore, using emojis may lead to higher costs due to an increased number of segments when sending concatenated SMS.
Appearance of emojis may differ depending on the recipients’ device
There might be a difference in how the emoji will appear on the recipient’s device since some brands have a different visual style for emojis. On websites like Emojipedia you can find a specific emoji and see how it will be displayed on different devices.