Each year, the Unicode Consortium reviews a seemingly infinite number of proposals that result in a list of emoji to be added to smartphones. Then companies like Google design the emoji for their operating systems like Android.
This week, Unicode announced their 62 new emoji, along with skin tone and gender variants, for 2020. The list has us feeling 🤗, because five of the approved designs were proposed by the Android team. They’re also part of our ongoing effort to create an emoji keyboard that’s more inclusive. Here’s a look at all five:
More representation for a variety of families
Until this year, the only emoji that depicts childcare is the “breastfeeding” emoji. Since an inability to breastfeed doesn’t preclude you from nurturing your child, we proposed First, “person feeding baby with a bottle”—an emoji that everyone can use. (Though in my opinion, as a mother of twins, parenthood is already representable with🌪️💩.)
We also proposed support for all gender variants for “person in veil” and “person in tuxedo,” because our technology should be inclusive of people’s experiences around the world ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜
More ways to show empathy
With a new appreciation of how people use emoji, we’ve also been looking into emoji that can communicate empathy, which is often lost when not speaking face to face. That’s part of the thinking behind “two people hugging” and a “slightly smiling face with tear.”
“Slightly smiling face with tear” is a visual metaphor for feeling simultaneous appreciation and relief—goodness with a dash of sadness. It might come in handy when thinking fondly of the past (#tbt), experiencing the present and not taking moments for granted, or looking hopefully into the future.
Visibility for the transgender flag
In addition to the five emoji above, we also sponsored the proposal of the Transgender flag emoji, along with Microsoft. (Googler Tea Uglow co-authored the proposal.) We hope this addition gives the trans community a way to be out and proud, and others a way to provide visible support.
These five emoji, along with the other new emoji approved by Unicode, will become available for Android users later this year 🥳
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