💬 The Wrap
Earlier this month UTC #147 was held at Adobe HQ in downtown San Jose, paving the way for Unicode 9 to be released in June.
Arguably the biggest emoji news was Google's "Expanding Emoji Professions" proposal, though progress continues on a number of other fronts.
Expect to see vendors release support for new emojis quicker this year than in the past, as the schedule has become more consistent, and demand and attention has only continued to increase.
Google and Microsoft went as far as releasing new emojis in developer previews, while Unicode 9 was still in beta, with public rollouts planned for the coming months. Apple's OS release cycle begins in earnest at WWDC in June when the first developer builds of iOS 10 are expected.
👩 Google proposes new set of female emojis to promote equality
The biggest emoji news of the month went to this proposal from Google advocating a more inclusive range of professional emojis for women.
🏛 Can emojis be protected by copyright?
The International Trademark Association Conference looked at this, but the issue has never been litigated. Lots of different aspects between character names, reference images, and vendor artwork, which are all separate matters.
🖊 Making faces (and other emoji)
Colin M. Ford of Hoefler & Co looks at creating an emoji font, and more specifically what goes into a good emoji design.
✊🏻 Is it okay to use white emojis?
18 months after their introduction, we still can't figure out the correct cultural use of modified emojis. What is the difference in meaning between a thumbs up with white skin tone compared to a dark skin tone?
🏃 Racemoji (followup to "Is it okay to use white emojis?")
A follow-up to McGill's article in The Atlantic on race and emoji. Can't say I agree on the 'correct' default being bright blue or green skin tone, but an interesting read nonetheless.
🌐 The rising use of emoji in diplomacy
The use of emoji in international diplomacy is in some ways a natural fit. It has flags, and gestures that cross geographical borders. Highlighted is Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop who is a heavy emoji user, and shares her birthday with World Emoji Day.
🎨 Before Emoji, There Was The Print Shop
A nostalgic look back at The Print Shop from 1984, and many of the clip art images which now correspond to popular emojis.
🤖 Botmoji: emoji meanings on Twitter
Emojipedia has developed an API which can be queried by tweeting any emoji to @Botmoji. Running 24/7 for your convenience.
😻 The people behind WeChat's cute stickers
Sticker marketplaces are huge in Asia, with WeChat and LINE leading a crowded market. This is an interesting read about the people designing stickers at WeChat.
🌌 Star Wars: As told by emoji
ICYMI, this is the latest in the "as told by emoji" series from Disney. Last year saw similar treatments for Frozen and Alladin.
✳️ The convergence of emoji
In a topic I had been meaning to cover in more detail for a while, Sebastiaan de With looks back at how major platforms have come closer together in their emoji appearance over time.
🍋 Lemon emoji usage increased thanks to Beyoncé
Emojipedia saw a huge increase in use of the bee emoji and lemon emoji with the release of Beyonce's Lemonade video last month. This mirrors an increase later reported by Twitter.
📲 Emojinn app for iOS
One of the better emoji keyboard apps I have used on iOS. Good summary from John Voorhees on this app (and keyboard) for quick emoji search.
📰 Wrapup of #UTC 147 Emoji News
Three new proposals accepted as emoji candidates. Not included in this overview are details of the proposal to allow a new 'provisional emoji' status, which was not passed. More to come on this.
🍾 Celebrating 25 Years of Unicode
The Unicode Consortium turned 25 this year. Started in 1991, otherwise known as the year 19 B.E. (Before Emoji). Unicode 6.0 was the first release to include emoji support in 2010.
☕️ Proposal: Coded Hashes of Arbitrary Images (CHAI)
Proposal attempting to advance the future of emoji, and how it can move beyond the existing codepoint-based implementation. Some ideas worth exploring in there, though it's early days in this area.
🖐 UTS #52 suspended while alternatives are assessed
Work on Unicode Emoji Mechanisms, proposed in February 2016, has been suspended. Priority remains on gender, with ZWJ sequences being the alternative option under investigation.
Thanks to everyone who spread the word since Emoji Wrap #1. With double the subscribers from last month, the word of mouth is much appreciated!
In a final word, we're looking to add a full stack developer to our team at Emojipedia. If you are a freelancer developer subscribed to this list there is a good chance you are who we want!