Apple has started to remove apps whose sole purpose is to offer Emoji from the App Store, after adding native Emoji support.

TechCrunch reproduces an email from one app develop in which Apple explains the move.

“We are writing to let you know your app, [redacted], has been removed from the App Store because it is no longer needed to unlock Emoji,” the email says. “Since iOS 6 now provides Emoji support to all users, your app is no longer in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines. 2.12 Apps that are not very useful, are simply web sites bundled as apps, or do not provide any lasting entertainment value may be rejected.”

Developers, as you might imagine, are not entirely happy with the news, with many of them taking to Twitter to express their dismay. Andrew Pouliot (@andpoul), a designer / coder from San Francisco, tweeted, “Mentioning emoji in the app description seems to be verboten. You can of course still use the emoji keyboard with any app.”

Emoji are emoticons originally used for text messaging in Japan, which have since grown in popularity around the world.