Unicode has been the default standard for representation and handling of text. Emoji, as a text-based representation of emotions, have been a part of Unicode ever since 2010 from the release of version 6 onwards. The Unicode Consortium announced the launch of Unicode 9.0 on June 21st, updated with six new scripts of different languages, 19 symbols for the new 4K TV standards, and a host of new emoji characters, keeping up with the latest developments.
With version 9.0, Unicode launched 72 new emoji characters, the most popular of them being the rolling on the floor laughing, face palm, fingers crossed, drooling face, lying face, nauseated and shrug. This update might spell the end for typing out ROFL and also compete with the popularity of the Picard facepalm reaction. Other highlights to the emoji include representation of a pregnant woman, and taking selfies. New animals like the fox, gorilla, and owl have also been added in the new update. A host of new characters for foods has been included, like the Kiwifruit, croissant, baguette, and others. The six new scripts added to Unicode were Osage, Nepal Bhasa, Fulani, the Bravanese dialect of Swahili, the Warsh orthography for Arabic, and Tangut, an ancient Chinese language, as mentioned in the Unicode blog. The complete list of new emoji is also available on the Unicode blog.
One notable emoji that did not make it to the new version was the Rifle emoji, which was voted out due to Apple going against the support of violent characters in the Unicode standard, with Microsoft supporting Apple’s stance in the matter, although late stage removal ensured a place for both the characters in the Unicode list. In comparison, last year’s 8.0 update brought racial diversification to the table, with the ability to modify skin tones for various emoji. While the Unicode consortium has the final say in which emoji is included, they are not responsible for the emoji designs. It leads to different designs, and artwork for the same character across various platforms. Unicode 9.0 and the standard new emoji will be supported across all platforms, with support in Microsoft Windows arriving with the anniversary update. Google is planning to include the new characters as part of the Android N roll out. There is no word about when Apple is going to add support for it yet. Unicode 10.0 is also already in the works, with talks of including chopsticks, a fortune cookie, and a takeout box emoji.