Paul Revere brushed a bead of sweat from his brow as his horse approached the first house.
“Emojis are coming,” he shouted earnestly. “New emojis are coming!”
Okay, maybe I’m paraphrasing, but that’s definitely the story I remember being taught in school. By now, you’ve heard all about the latest packet of emojis being released into the wild sometime this year; some notable additions will be a t-rex 🤘, a beard, a pair of chopsticks that looks suspiciously like a pair of Darth Vader’s lightsaber…
This all comes with the announcement of Emoji 5.0, the latest release from the Unicode Consortium, the
all-powerful governing body of all-things emoji. This will coincide with the release of Unicode 10, the programming language that Emoji 5.0 references.
So what does it all mean? We get 69 funny new symbols to post on Facebook? Here are some important takeaways:
⏳ While they may seem topical, emojis go through a pretty long approval process.
While it’s fun that we’ll be seeing the addition of a giraffe face emoji this year, it has little to do with the viral April the Giraffe phenomenon of early 2017. To give you an idea, the next emoji release (read: Emoji 6.0) will include items suggested between November 2016 through presumably November 2017
👩⚕️ The trend will continue moving towards multiple skin tones and genders.
Emoji 5.0 will include 24 images that support the current five-skin-tone variants. Additionally, will be 10 gender-neutral “base” characters, where a gender can be selected or not.
🍎 Your favorite company isn’t in charge of emojis.
Sure, there have been pseudo wars over who gets the new emojis first, but I promise that it’s a much more boring answer: whoever designs them first gets to release them first. Ever wonder why people get weird when they see your (ahem) “face with rolling eyes” (colloquially “eye roll”) emoji? It’s because on Samsung, it looks like a pretty friendly face, while Apple’s version is much more sarcastic. See below:
Once the latest version of Unicode is announced, it’s up to each individual company to design their preferred version of each character.
🔮 Unicode 11.0 and Emoji 6.0 are already in the works.
Emoji 5.0 is hot off the presses (and won’t be released for another few months), but Emoji 6.0 is very much in production already. In this very early report, you can start gearing up for some sweet (primarily) Chinese New Year-related emojis like an ang pao (a “red envelope” used in East and Southeast Asia for monetary gifts), a firecracker, and a mooncake.
🔜 The official public release date for Emoji 5.0 is June 30, 2017
The past few emoji releases have been in June, and this one continues that trend, which gives companies like Apple and Google just 3 months to design, test, and implement their versions before the public release. As of when this was published, we haven’t spotted any Unicode 10.0/Emoji 5.0 releases in the wild.
So there you have it — Emoji 5.0 is happening, and it’s here already! Do you have a favorite from this release? Was there a notable exception that you spotted? (Do you believe we still don’t have a Chewbacca emoji? 😉) Let us know!