App Review appears to be more strictly enforcing rules regarding the use of Apple intellectual property in third party apps, which now includes emoji. Developers are reporting that their apps are now getting rejected for using the Apple emoji icon set in screenshots, other marketing and parts of the user interface (such as using emoji in place of custom iconography).
As described to Sam Eckert, apps cannot use emoji outside of places where a user would have typed it in to comply with the new rules. Apps must replace usage of Apple emoji with custom icons, or nothing at all, if they want their app to be approved.
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