Even Safari for Desktop is showing emojis.
As you can imagine, I suspect spammers will have a field day using these emojis when it comes to decorating up their search results. Many will try and make their sites stand out with stars and flames in the titles and descriptions, especially for highly competitive keyword phrases.
Coincidentally, Google just launched additional Android support of emojis, so it could be related.
They are showing up on a mix of browsers in desktop and mobile, so it seems unlikely that it is strictly a browser change. They are displayed in browsers including Chrome for iOS and Android, Safari for Desktop & iOS, and desktop Firefox, so there is likely need some browser support in order to display them.
If these emojis become popular as a way to grab attention to competitive search results, I suspect we could see Google disabling the ability for them to display in the search results, or restrict it to searches with the keywords “emoji” or “emojis” in the search query, in order to prevent them from becoming to obtrusive and annoying on search queries that have nothing to do with emojis.
Bing is also displaying emojis in their search results.
H/T Dan Barker who first brought it to my attention, although others noticed it as well.
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