💬 The Wrap
2022 is almost (emoji) wrapped 🎁🥳
As 2023 begins to come to a close, and various holiday emojis experience their annual global uptick, it’s the latest edition of the Emoji Wrap newsletter 🌯📯
It's been just over three months since Emoji 15.0 was officially approved, so as we say farewell to 2022, let's review which major emoji keyboards have gotten the Goose, and which ones are still waiting a little longer for that plain Pink Heart.
🤖 Google released their new designs for both Noto Color Emoji and Noto Emoji via downloadable font files. While not yet rolled out to Android devices' emoji keyboards, these emojis are now supported within Gmail.
⚫ Samsung released its Emoji 15.0 support alongside its long-awaited Emoji 14.0 designs, adding a total of 138 new emojis to the platform's native emoji font all at once.
🟢 WhatsApp, meanwhile, currently have their Emoji 15.0 designs in beta, so we expect to see these ones very soon.
🍎 Apple's first beta for iOS 16.3, which was launched last week, contained no new emoji designs. Based on this year's iOS 15.4 release, we'd expect to see these designs appear in a beta release over the next several weeks, most likely in the new year.
🐦 While there have been reports that Twitter have prepared their Twemoji 15.0 update, these designs have yet to be released. Since the release of Emoji 15.0 a new highly-detailed emoji sticker set was made available within select Twitter features, albeit only with support up to 2020's Emoji 13.1.
📘 Facebook has yet to support Emoji 15.0, though they have tended to debut their support in the middle of the year.
🪟 Finally, while Microsoft did release a Windows 11 emoji update since the approval of Emoji 15.0, this update only introduced emojis from Emoji 14.0 such as Melting Face, Face Holding Back Tears, and Saluting Face.
Speaking of the Saluting Face, it's been recently lauded as one of the emojis of the year following its viral usage across Twitter.
Also in this edition of the Emoji Wrap, we share some renewed discussions of how people use skin tone emojis and a link to a research study on how emojis can be made more accessible.
Additionally, we share a recent history of how the 🍆 became what it is today, and a Unicode announcement which means next year's emoji release will contain only ZWJ sequences like Emoji 12.1 and Emoji 13.1 if any new released at all.
✨ New Emojis
🎨 Twitter's Glossy Emoji Stickers on Emojipedia
At the start of October, Jane Manchun Wong first reported that a new, highly-detailed emoji set that Twitter had been teasing for quite some time had debuted in two specific features: Twitter Statuses, and the stickers section of the image editor on Android.
While it is currently unknown if or when this set would replace the historic Twemoji designs, the entire set of Twitter emoji stickers is now viewable on Emojipedia.
🗓️ We Couldn’t Have Made It Through This Year Without the Saluting Emoji
Here Miles Klee details for Rolling Stone some of the many uses of the Saluting Face emoji since its recommendation in 2021's Emoji 14.0.
✊ Saluting in Solidarity
Reyhan Harmanci also explores the Saluting Face for the New York Times, with a specific focus on how it can be used to express solidarity. Featuring contributions from Ryan Broderick and yours truly.
🟢 WhatsApp is working to support new Unicode 15 emoji
As mentioned above, WhatsApp's support for Emoji 15.0 additions such as the Shaking Face, Donkey, and the plain Pink Heart are currently available in a beta update to their Android app. Expected to be released officially early in the new year.
🔬 Exploring Ways of Improving Emoji Accessibility
Are you interested in contributing to science? Researchers from Aarhus University, Bournemouth University, and the Rochester Institute of Technology are looking to understand ways to improve the accessibility of messages when emoji are used. You can take part in their study here.
🧑🏽🤝🧑🏻 Why the Emoji Skin Tone You Choose Matters
Here WIRED's unnamed spiritual advice columnist explores a question of emoji skin tone representation, touching briefly upon research from Google's Dr. Alexander Robertson as part of the discussion.
How Did 🍆 Become Our Default Sex Symbol?
Ligaya Mishan explores the 🍆 Eggplant emoji as a phallic symbol, navigating the plant's global varieties, U.S. import figures, the emoji version's popularity, and how "since the beginning of recorded human thought, we have insisted on fruit as a sexual metaphor".
💚🧡 What Each Color Heart Emoji Means
Here Cosmopolitan magazine provide their own "unofficially official" take on the meaning of different colorful heart emojis, albeit without any clear methodology.
If you want a data-driven investigation on this very topic, this February 2021 piece by myself and Jeremy Burge has what you're looking for.
📝 The Unicode® Standard – 2023 Release Planning
Next year Unicode will be evaluating and updating its processes for developing new versions of the Unicode Standard. This means that next year's release will be entitled Unicode 15.1 instead of Unicode 16.0 and include only a limited set of new characters.
It has also been announced that any emojis within a complimentary Emoji 15.1 would be sequences constructed through existing codepoints, as was the case for 2019's Emoji 12.1 and 2020's Emoji 13.1.
🗓️ Unicode in 2022
Here Unicode details some of its major achievements and decisions of the past year, including approaching 150,000 encoded characters across all languages and scripts with the release of Unicode 15.0 and the announcement that new flag emoji proposals will no longer be considered as part of the annual open call for new emoji submissions.
2023 has been a very big year for both Emojipedia and for me personally 🙏🙇
Working closely with the incredible team at Zedge, this year we have introduced support of 18 different global languages and given the site its first new major frontend features since September 2015 🗣️🌐
We've also added a total of six completely new emoji sets to the site, namely Google's monochrome Noto Emoji and their animated Noto Color Emoji set, the animated Fluent emoji designs used within Microsoft Teams, Twitter's new highly-detailed emoji stickers, and sets from the Toss fintech app and the Sony Playstation's Messages feature 🤯🖼️
There's much more to come in 2023, and I for one am very excited to celebrate a host of new emoji designs and Emojipedia features as we approach the site's 10th anniversary and the hosting of our 10th annual World Emoji Day 📅🥳
But in the meantime, happy holidays and see you next year ❤️