37 new emojis to be introduced over the coming months

15 Sep 2021

Image: Emojipedia

The Unicode Consortium approved the new 14.0 standard, which will feature 112 distinct emojis when skin tone variations are included.

The Unicode Consortium yesterday (14 September) approved the character set of Unicode 14.0, including 37 new emojis.

Part of a larger addition of 838 new characters to the standard, users will see the addition of a melting face, a face with a hand over mouth, a face with peeking eye, a saluting face, a dotted line face, a face with a diagonal mouth, a face holding back tears, and a biting lip emoji, among others.

These emoji updates are packaged into the Emoji 14.0 standard, approved alongside the Unicode update. While Unicode only specifies the individual emojis, the Emoji standard includes skin tone variations on some of these emojis, which adds 112 distinct new graphics in total.

The draft emoji list has been around for several months, but had to be approved by the non-profit Unicode Consortium’s 15 voting member organisations, which include Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Emojipedia and Netflix. Twitter is a non-voting associate member.

The approval of the emojis does not mean they’ll be immediately available on your devices, however. That process is expected to take several months and is likely to vary across mobile operating systems and social media networks, as it takes some time for platforms to design and release their custom versions of emojis.

Support for Emoji 14.0 is expected to come to major platforms in late 2021 or throughout 2022

The last Emoji update, Emoji 13.1, was approved in September 2020 and appeared on Android 11.0 in December 2020 and iOS 14.5 in April 2021.

Twitter added support in May 2021 and Facebook began roll-out in July. Samsung devices still only have limited support for Emoji 13.1.

Apple’s iOS 15, announced yesterday (14 September), will not immediately have support for the new emoji set when it launches on 20 September.

Non-emoji character additions in Unicode 14.0 include the sign for the som currency used in Kyrgyzstan, notation symbols for Russian Orthodox Znamenny music, and the 19th-century Vithkuqi script used to write Albanian, which Unicode described as “undergoing a modern revival”.

Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin