💬 The Wrap
I'm slowly making my way up from under a pile of hot takes about the new emoji list announced last month. Some are good, some are funny, some draw a long bow. Listen into the latest Emoji Wrap podcast for more on this.
It's understandable. When every major tech platform has to agree on culturally significant iconography that ships on billions of phones worldwide, of course it will make news, and with news comes opinions.
People love the pinching hand. Clearly the most discussed of the whole set. Perhaps most surprising to me was the relative lack of interest in the accessibility updates. They were certainly covered, but perhaps as the response was entirely positive, there was no controversy to report.
A small reminder that even though Unicode 12.0 comes out next week (it includes the code points needed for much of Emoji 12.0), no platforms have yet committed to when they will roll out support. First will most likely be Twitter and Microsoft, with Google and Apple adding support later in the year.
Oh and while I have you, Emojipedia is about to serve its 1 billionth page view of all time (any day now). So for those of you who visit for the definitions, cross-platform comparisons, emoji news, search features or just to copy and paste an emoji: thank you 🙇♂️💕
📈 Top Emoji Requests 2019
Yes Emoji 12.0 has only just been completed, but that means Emoji 13.0 is only a year away. Here's what Emojipedia users have said they want.
📲 Samsung One UI 1.0 Emoji Changelog
Samsung's calendar is ready for World Emoji Day 2019, now showing July 17 along with Apple and Google.
🍆 Finally, a New Emoji to Mock Men
The canonical "this is the small penis emoji" article, I would say.
🙊 There's a New Emoji & We're All Making the Same Joke
More on the pinching hand being used to show small male genitals.
👐 Internet Hilariously Claps Back On 'Roomy Vagina' Emoji Comparison
The counter-argument to the pinching hand being an effective response to unsolicited dick pics is that body shaming is never okay, regardless of context. IMO the roomy vagina comparison would hold more weight if men were harassed online as frequently as women.
😝 The New Chair Emoji Is Nice, But These Are the Emojis We Really Want
Architectural Digest coming in with the furniture angle on Emoji 12.0. "I wanted it to be the most generally recognized visual of a chair as possible" said Emojipedia designer Joshua Jones (aka Florida).
👩🎤 Google and Apple brought the emoji arms race to the Grammys
Emoji remains a large part of mobile marketing in 2019.
📰 Sorry, London Times, the Kids These Days Aren't Using 🛀 for ⚰️
Did you see the tweet with the emoji explainer last week? John Kelly digs into the descriptions, and how exactly the Bathtub was listed as a way to say "coffin".
🚙 Emojis on license plates? LOL it's about to be a thing
The genius of this marketing effort from Queensland Australia is that breakfast television loves to overlook the fact that these are only decorations around a regular license plate. It's funnier to just assume you could have emojis instead of letters.
🔭 Ariana Grande Tweets She Wants Saturn, Neptune and Jupiter in 2019
Yes a Ringed Planet emoji is already on the way, but I don't think I had proof of this.
🌏 Symbolism of new emojis speaks to something significant
As much as I make fun of the lengths people go to finding the "emoji angle" for various publications, there is a core truth to emojis reflecting a human reality in their own way.
👩⚖️ Emoji are showing up in court cases exponentially, and courts aren’t prepared
It seems inevitable we are going to see a large increase in emojis in court cases. In the past, if I told you something and then made a face it would be hard to examine in court years later.
Emojis allow this same level of ambiguity and complexity but they are documented along with the written word. Not only have I been called as an expert witness on emoji interpretation in recent years, there's also the cryptic (non-facial) emoji sequences which have also stumped police that have come to me ("does this string of emojis mean anything??") when investigating a potential threat.
This New Period Emoji Is Bloody Ridiculous. Period.
"If we really want girls to be less embarrassed about their periods then we should be less embarrassed about representing what a period looks like. Sanitising the truth builds stigma, it doesn’t destroy it." says Lana Hirschowitz.
This article echoes a number of similar sentiments about the so-called period emoji.
Some of the articles along these lines seem to be frustrated that THE period emoji doesn't specifically indicate a period or menstruation. If this emoji were a period emoji, that would be a very good point.
I'm not quite sure if it's a deliberate choice to ignore that the emoji itself is only a drop of blood (which can be used for menstruation, but also blood donation, or anything else blood can represent) or if Plan International did a sufficient job of branding it the "period emoji" (as that was their original intention, and first proposal to Unicode) that those writing about it took "period emoji" as the official name and thus this angle.
🙅♀️ What Does the New Auto Rickshaw Emoji Really Mean? Indians Say it's a Big 'NO'
I'm too far removed from this to know. Will the Auto Rickshaw emoji really be used as a playful way to mean 'no' in India?
In London the equivalent is taxi drivers not wanting to go south of the river (Thames), but I'm not sure a black cab emoji would obviously convey 'no'.
💤 What does the 2019 introduction of a Yawn Emoji mean?
I can't tell if this is a satirical take on the whole "what does X mean about our society" style of article, but if it is, it's excellent. Apparently the yawning face emoji might be a reflection on Americans being more tired.
🥔 Why does the new falafel emoji look like potatoes?
Honestly, the new falafel emoji was one of the harder emojis to create our sample image for. Interested to see how it looks on other platforms later this year.
🏳️🌈 Rancho Bernardo teenager sees hate in anti-gay emoji
One of the better reports on this so-called "anti LGBT" emoji. The challenge is mostly early reporting that implied this was a problem for Apple or Unicode to tackle (to "ban" these characters from being entered in sequence). The real place for action to be taken is the social platforms. If people are combining Unicode characters to make a rainbow flag with a 🚫 over the top and then spamming it in Twitter replies or Instagram comments, that is harassment and should be dealt with by the social platform.
🤤 Unicode Consortium Shares New Food Emojis
The food angle on Emoji 12.0.
🤔 Why we need a brunette white person emoji. No, really.
A popular request, but also a bit of 'first world problems'.
New skin tones aren't likely to ever be added, with five in place potentially too many already. So if this request were handled, it would almost certainly be done in the same way as redheads: a new hair character that can apply to any emoji, but at least at first it would only be for a very few (person/woman/man for instance).
🎙 Download #90
I joined Jason Snell, past guest on the Emoji Wrap podcast, to chat about the emoji update. This was recorded just days after the announcement, and gives a decent overview of what's new.
📻 Texas Standard
Texas is passionate about its flag more than any US state, that much is true. I joined David Brown this week on Texas Standard.
🌯 Emoji Wrap Podcast
The podcast that accompanies this very email! I'm joined by John Kelly who works as the Senior Emoji Lexicographer at Emojipedia, discussing about 1/4 of what is in this very newsletter.