The Unicode Consortium announced Emoji 13.0 today and took the wraps off the 62 new emoji, including a polar bear, pickup truck, and a pinata, along with 55 gender and skin-tone variants for a total of 117 emojis.
We were going to lead with a quick explainer of what emoji is, but we realized that’d be wasting your time. You probably already know your 😁 and 🤔 expressions, and you might have even witnessed the arguments over how to make a 🍔.
What you may not know is how new emoji come to be. Every year, companies or even average people like you and me can submit new emoji proposals to the Unicode Consortium. The Consortium considers those proposals, weeds out bad suggestions, debates, and then picks finalists to include in the next set of emoji.
Emoji 13.0 won’t just be a new set of never-before-seen emoji, though. While we’ll soon see new options like “Bubble Tea” and “Smiling Face with Tear,” we’ll also have access to new variants of existing emoji. Going forward, you’re no longer limited to “bride with veil” (👰 but can instead pick a “gender-neutral person with veil” or “man with veil.” Likewise, while you could only choose “man in tuxedo”(🤵) before, soon you can select “woman in tuxedo” or “gender-neutral person in tuxedo.”
The look of emoji can vary from platform to platform, and only the Unicode Consortium announced the changes today, so it will be a while before you can send a dodo emoji from your iPhone or Android phone. But you can expect to see the changes on most platforms sometime this year.