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It’s Official: There Will Be a Mate Emoji in 2019

Want to grab some [insert Mate Emoji] and catch up?

By | [email protected] | February 4, 2019 9:00am

579272f966bcf_largePhoto via Diario Movil San Juan
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Words are cool and all… But master texters and WhatsAppers know that the best way to convey ideas and feelings nowadays is with the help of GIFs and, of course, emojis. Is somebody ignoring your text? Why not hit them with the old ? . Wanna laud somebody for their sick joke? Nothing beats a ?, you know it.

Emojis cover the whole spread of emotions: from the flawless, kind-hearted ? to the intricate innuendo of the ? and the ?. You could use them to describe almost any activity possible, from sports (⚽????️‍♂️?‍♀️?) to music (?????) all the way to flamenco dancing (?) and whatever the hell this is (?‍♂️).

But for WhatsApp users in Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay, there was quite the void in their texting experience, one that completely ignored one of the most important rituals in their day to day…. Where-oh-where in emoji’s sake was the all important matecito? Have no fear, because from June of this year, you’ll finally be able to invite friends over to a mateada at home with the use of one simple image and a question mark… What a time to be alive!


The news was broken through the Twitter account for the project, stating that the official announcement will be made on March 5th by Unicode, the company in charge of standardizing and approving emojis all over the world. Project, you ask? Yes, behind this achievement is a massive endeavor that began in 2017 and has had to overcome countless stages, that include redesigning the iconic image a bunch of times and presenting a thesis-sized folder stating why the herbal treat should be granted emoji status. This included arguments about its health benefits, its social significance, and its widespread popularity in the Cono Sur. Besides, global idols like Maradona, Messi, and even the Pope are frequent consumers of mate. What more evidence do you need?

Photo via Rating Cero

The project first burst onto the stage in 2017 at an event in Buenos Aires called Media Party and was the child of an eclectic mix of characters including journalists Florencia Coelho, Santiago Nasra, and Daniela Guini; illustrator Martín Zalucki; and designer Emiliano Panelli.

To understand the complexity of the selection process, more than 1,000 proposed emojis annually are received by Unicode; the selection committee includes experts from companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Google, and Apple, just to name a few. Some other tidbits of information to keep in mind:

  • According to a study by the Universities of Michigan and Peking, Argentina is the seventh consumer of emojis worldwide, in a list that includes 212 countries;
  • Other emojis making the cut include the waffle, the falafel and the oyster;
  • The emoji will probably be available first on Facebook and Twitter before finally reaching WhatsApp.

Mate has finally been granted its day of reckoning. Now let’s go all in on the fernet con coca, people. This is our moment.