I know this is a matter of taste, but having upgraded my phone to kitkat, I don't care for the touchwiz version of the emoji, and I prefer the google style that is on my Nexus 10, and that was actually available in Hangouts on my phone on Jellybean before upgrading.
I've searched for a way to replace it, and they all require rooting. However, I've noticed in my phone's settings (My device -> Display -> Font style) there is an option to choose between 5 preloaded fonts, or to download others. I don't know how this all works, but it seems to me that I should be able to somehow find a file of the google stock kitkat fonts (which would include that version of emoji, right?), download it on my phone, and select that instead.
Is this correct, and if so does anyone know if this has already been done. Or, if it is possible but hasn't been done, maybe I could somehow get the file off my Nexus 10 and use that?