Monday, November 28, 2016

113 New Unicode Emoji (plus skin tones)

113 new emoji are now available in UTR #51 Unicode Emoji, Version 4.0. The main focus of this 4.0 release is further enhancing gender representation and professions. These new emoji are already appearing on smart phones and other devices and platforms that support emoji. See the full list in Emoji Recently Added.

The new emoji will soon be available for adoption, helping fund projects to improve language support.

Unlike the 72 emoji characters added to Unicode 9.0 in June, these are not new Unicode characters. Most of these new emoji are sequences of existing emoji, “glued together” with a special invisible character so that they appear and behave like a single character. This glue character is called a ZWJ, pronounced “zwidge” or /zwɪdʒ/. Three existing Unicode 9.0 characters (gender and medical symbols) were changed to qualify as emoji, for use in those ZWJ sequences.

Two of the new sequences are flags, 10 are family groupings (such as mother with daughter), 32 are new professions/roles (such as man or woman astronaut), and 66 are explicit-gendered variants (such as man or woman running). 99 of these sequences, plus 5 other characters (such as snowboarder), can also now have the 5 skin tone modifiers.

The technical documentation has also been updated, with additional guidelines for implementers and the new versions of the emoji data files for use in programs.