💬 The Wrap
What happens in April in the emoji calendar?
The first vendors begin supporting the new emoji list. So far this includes Twitter, and will soon Microsoft will join with the "Windows 10 April (or May!?) 2019 Update".
It's 100 days until World Emoji Day. So..if you or your company are doing anything for the big day, reply to this email with details 🥳
Okay so it's not a big month for emoji news, but there's plenty of interesting articles below (including a correction to what we previously reported as the first emoji set)
🔚 PS: Jump to the end of this newsletter for a bit of personal news.
🍏 iOS 12.2 Emoji Changelog
- 🙃 What it's not: Apple supporting the new emoji list for 2019
- 🙂 What it is: a few minor emoji tweaks from Apple that you would have never noticed if not reading this
🐦 Twemoji 12.0 Emoji Changelog
If you're using the Twitter website, you've now got access to all the new emojis approved this year.
😲 Correcting the Record on the First Emoji Set
Turns out, the "first emoji set" often discussed as being from Japanese carrier Docomo in 1999 isn't the first. Arguably, it was J-Phone two years earlier, with a set most closely represented by Apple today.
🤪 The Emoji Challenge is Taking Over Group Chats With Friends
Why are none of my group chats doing this, is what I want to know.
📝 QID Emoji Proposal
Here's something interesting. A proposal from Unicode president Mark Davis to allow anything with a Wikipedia page to be an emoji, should a platform vendor (like Apple or Google) wish to support it.
Pro: this could mean Unicode doesn't get stuck encoding literally every object on planet earth as an emoji until the end of days.
Con: this is probably better used for edge cases, or things that might not have a strong case to have their own Unicode code point. If that's the case, perhaps those edge cases just aren't good ideas for an emoji in the first place.
👿 Emojiology: Angry Face With Horns
More than you knew you wanted to know about 👿
🧑 Google's Three Gender Emoji Future
Apologies for the headline: what I'm trying to convey here is that going forward, Google will have three options for appearance where there is currently at most, two (woman and man). The third option is a gender inclusive or gender neutral design, which if expanded to include every emoji, would allow users to send a police officer, runner, or dancer without requiring a choice of gender.
👩🏾🦱 There’s No Afro Emoji. These Women Want to Change That.
IMO the better option here is that vendors make the new (ish) curly hair emoji have more afro-like hair. If we're aiming for increased representation, we don't need both short curly hair and longer afro-like curly hair options. Just make afro how this emoji looks.
(it basically was intended to be an afro emoji when added to the emoji set anyway)
🌭 How to Use Emojis
"Remember that emojis don’t have set meaning, grammar or syntax; they consist mostly of nouns, including 🦔and 🥩. Still, collectively, we are giving these little pictures semantics as we go"
🎌 How Japan’s new imperial era broke the internet in a very tiny way
Not emoji related, but Unicode-related.
TL;DR - Unicode reserved a character in advance for the Japan's new imperial era. Needed a special release for it and everything.
Spoiler: as best as I'm aware tell, it all went smoothly. Though I don't think (?) any fonts yet include support for the new glyph.
🧩 Iconic wooden toy emoji jigsaw
I just thought this looked quite nice? Using the old (free) EmojiOne set.
🥇 xkcd: Emojidome
I don't think there's a way to replay this, but at the time, XKCD had a bracket facing off two emoji choices against each other every 40 seconds. The next round would allow double the time to vote. I think you could vote as many times as you liked - clicking frantically to add votes during the time.
Well implemented - even if the winner and runner-up are seemingly quite random (and not reflective of which emojis are most used).
🎙 Emoji Wrap with Ollie Wagner
This month I spoke with Ollie Wagner, one of the few people involved in the earliest emoji designs from Apple.
🏛 April 26 – "Writing: Making Your Mark" (The British Library)
"From carved stone inscriptions, medieval manuscripts and early printed works to beautiful calligraphy, iconic fonts and emojis, Writing: Making Your Mark (26 April – 27 August 2019) will deconstruct the act of writing and consider its future in the digital age"
🎬 April 28 – "Picture Character" (Tribeca Film Festival)
"Picture Character follows the path of smiling poops and heart-eyed faces, tackles the development of skin tones, and tracks the evolution of the global digital language."
Some personal news (as people like to say on the internet). As of the next Unicode Technical Committee meeting, I will be standing down from my role as a vice chair of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee.
What does this mean to you, the humble emoji user? Very little, to be honest.
Emojis will still be approved, and I'm just one person of many in the process. You'll like some, you'll think some are dumb, and one is obviously missing. It'll be just the same.
Unicode effectively has two tiers when it comes to new emoji proposals:
📥 Unicode Emoji Subcommittee (ESC): reviews incoming proposals, gives feedback if proposals aren't considered up to scratch, declines any that don't meet basic criteria. Of the proposals it forwards to UTC, the ESC makes a recommendation on which should be approved.
👩⚖️ Unicode Technical Committee (UTC): actually in charge of which Unicode characters are approved, including every new emoji. The UTC is made up of representatives from member organisations and is not obliged to agree with ESC recommendations on any new emoji.
As I write this, there are 17 voting members of Unicode and they are: Adobe, Apple, Berkeley, Emojipedia, Facebook, Google, Government of India, Huawei, IBM, Microsoft, Monotype, Sultanate of Oman, Government of Tamil Nadu, Netflix, Oracle, and SAP.
🗳 Full members get one vote each, and supporting members (such as Emojipedia) get half a vote.
While I am standing down from my vice chair role within the Emoji Subcommittee (ESC), I'll continue representing Emojipedia at Technical Committee meetings (UTC), and remain a member of the ESC.
Oh, and since you're here, here's a fresh document published with priorities of the Emoji Subcommittee going forward.
My hope in the coming years is that new emojis focus on filling gaps left in the current set (especially for much requested additions like a black family), while simultaneously raising the bar for approvals of everything else.