Since the season two release date was announced on April 30, there have been 1.2 million tweets discussing fan theories, expressing unbridled excitement, and, as of midnight last night, bemoaning the show’s less-than-immediate arrival on Netflix. Among those tweets, four emoji have reigned supreme: The back arrow (presumably to note the show’s return), the revolving red police car light (presumably to sound the alarms), heart eyes (you can guess the reason for that one), and the video tape emoji.
If that last one strikes you as odd, it should. Audio cassettes play a central role in unraveling what led to Hannah Baker’s death — but there isn't an audio cassette emoji. There are no video tapes in the show, which leads us to one hypothesis: Either the show’s viewers, many of whom did not grow up with VHS players, are using the video tape emoji as a replacement for the analog format, or, they think the emoji they’re using actually is an audio tape.
Either way, it’s time to set the record straight, if only for the almighty sake of emoji accuracy.
According to Emojipedia, Unicode, the group that decides which new emoji ultimately end up on your phone, approved the videocassette— also called a video tape and VHS — in 2010 and rolled it out as part of the Emoji 1.0 release in 2015. It falls under Unicode's "light and video" emoji category, alongside the camera, film projector, movie camera, and video camera. As with any emoji, there are variations in the design depending on what device you use it on. However, each sticks to the basic form factor: A rectangular black box with a white square in the middle and magnetic black tape wound between two spools on either end.
An audio cassette shares some similarities (see the above photo on the left): It also has two spools the tape is wound around. However if you compare it side-by-side with a VHS tape, you'll notice differences that go beyond just the size.
So, if you didn't know, now you know: That emoji cassette you see on your keyboard is for video, not audio. Take note 13 Reasons Why fans.