The Unicode Consortium has accepted 38 new emoji characters as candidates for its next update‚ scheduled for release in mid-2016.
How are the characters chosen? “Some are chosen based on expected high frequency of use or because they are highly popular requests from online communities,” it said. “Others fill gaps in the existing set of Unicode emoji, as by completing a gender pair.”
The new list includes some obvious contenders and some… odder choices. Expect to see some of these emoji replacing familiar slang such as the now-ubiquitous ¯\_(ツ)_/¯:
It also includes others that will no doubt be used by lots of people. We just don’t know any of them—though John Travolta should be happy.
Once the candidates have been finalized, firms like Apple and Google—whose software powers the majority of the world’s mobile phones—will be able make more colorful versions of these new additions.
The consortium warns that these emoji are candidates and some may be removed from inclusion. But in a banner year for emoji that has included more diversity and the inclusion of the middle finger, any bad choices by the consortium will likely see them bombarded by millions of face-palm emoji.