Unicode Consortium Approves 72 New Emoji
The Unicode Consortium, the organization that sets all standards for letters and other characters used for universal software applications, has granted its approval to a total of 72 brand new emoji. These new emoji will be rolled out before the end of June, which means that in the next few weeks, mobile users should be able to use them on their smartphones, computers and other devices.
So far, the Unicode Consortium has officially sanctioned 1,601 emoji, but it appears that new additions are needed, especially for stuff that have not been represented yet by a single, cute symbol. The new ones mainly remain consistent with those already in existence, which means that some of them include symbols for facial expressions, hand symbols, animals, and of course, food. And because the Olympics are happening this year, new emoji for sports and medal themed glyphs are also in order.
Millennials might be delighted (or maybe not) to know that an emoji has been assigned for the word “selfie.” The graphic is rendered to show an outstretched arm and handset. Then there are emoji for shugs (which is useful when one has pretty much nothing else to say but do not want to opt for the overused thumbs up symbol), facepalms, clowns, and even pregnant women. New animal emoji include sharks, gorillas, owls, and rhinos. For food enthusiasts, they will soon make use of bacon (!), croissants, and pancakes.
The Unicode Consortium will officially adopt these new emoji this month, but realistically speaking, mobile users may have to wait a while depending on updates released by the tech companies that manufacture their handsets. Google’s upcoming Android N and Apple’s iOS 10 are set to be rolled out before the end of this year, which means that the new emoji will likely debut along with the deployments of these respective mobile operating systems.
Mobile users first experienced using emoji when Apple adopted them in its iOS platform back in 2011. One year later, Google’s Android platform started using them, too. Obviously, it really took off with the masses, and by 2013, an emoji translation of Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick had hit the Internet.
The rise in popularity of emoji (or pictograms) is attributed to their universal appeal. Quite simply, regardless of one’s nationality, you would know what message is conveyed when seeing a facepalm emoji. And of course, they are just so much fun to use. They are now so popular that tech companies have even started studying them, e.g. social media giant Instagram.