230 new characters are included in Unicode’s 2019 official list of emojis, including six wild animals.
The animal emojis in the update are: flamingo, orangutan, otter, oyster, skunk, and sloth.
Flamingo emoji. © Unicorde Consortium
Sloth emoji. © Unicorde Consortium
Orangutan emoji. © Unicorde Consortium
Skunk emoji. © Unicorde Consortium
Oyster emoji. © Unicorde Consortium
The Unicode Consortium is a non-profit Californian-based organisation which develops and promotes the use of Unicode Standard, which allows people using different devices and apps to send emojis to each other.
The Consortium’s members include representatives from software developers and computing organisations, such as Microsoft and Adobe.
Alongside the six animals, the majority of the new emojis in the Unicode Emoji 12.0 list are accessibility-themed emojis, following a complaint from Apple.
Individual products such as hearing aids and white canes are featured, as are people from different ethnicities using disability aids.
Manual wheelchair emoji. © Unicorde Consortium
The designs can be tweaked by platform owners, such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter, but are supposed to remain recognisable.
The new emojis are likely to be available on smartphones in the second half of the year.
Other new emojis include:
- A waffle
- A banjo
- A diving mask
- A drop of blood
- An ice cube
- Ballet shoes