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November 1, 2018

The lobster emoji has landed, heralded as 'positive outcome for Maine'

Photo / Mainebiz
Photo / Mainebiz
One small step for lobsters, one giant step for lobster emojis: Crustacean fans in Maine cheered the arrival of a new emoji, which is now available on mobile devices with updated operating systems.

Mainers, your lobster emoji has landed. It's now available on mobile devices updated with the latest operating system — in geek lingo, that's Apple i0S 12 and Google Android 9.0.

That means users who choose to do so can incorporate the new emoji into text messages, emails and social media posts, about nine months after the Unicode Consortium gave the green light for the little red guy.

It was among more than 150 new emojis approved in early February by the Mountain View, Calif.-based nonprofit, along with a mosquito, a female superhero a pirate flag and a softball.

Led by U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, crustacean fans lobbied hard for the lobster emoji, which garnered national attention on social media and television, including NBC Nightly News.

In a Wednesday email to Mainebiz, King had this reaction to the breaking emoji news: "Lobsters are a $1.6 billion industry in Maine that support communities all along our coast. I'm proud of this incredible Maine industry and all the men and women who take part in it — and if the lobster emoji helps sell one more lobster or brings one more tourist to our great state, then that's a positive outcome for Maine."

The #lobsteremoji hashtag experienced a boost in traffic on the latest development, with Saco-based Luke's Lobster thanking the more than 5,000 people who signed its petition on Change.org.

"The #lobsteremoji is here, and we can't wait to finally express our crustacean cravings on iOS!" it tweeted. "We can now officially retire #nolobsteremoji."

It remains to be seen whether the use of shrimp and crab emojis, until now a substitute for lobster in a pinch, will decline.

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