Every day, people share billions of emojis in text messages and posts to social media. These fun, friendly images express what we’re feeling when we can’t see 🙈 or hear 🙉 who we’re chatting with. But where do emojis come from 🤔?
The world’s emojis are managed by an organization called the Unicode Consortium. It’s made up of technology companies like Apple and Google. Each year, the group reviews proposals for new emojis and decides which should be created.
To be approved, new emojis must meet several criteria, or standards. They must be easy to recognize even when small ✅.
They also must be useful for many people ✅. Logos or images of real people are not allowed ❌.
Since the first emojis were released in the late 1990s, the symbols have become more inclusive. In 2015, the Unicode Consortium began offering emojis in a range of skin colors 👩🏽⚕️ 👩🏾🎓 🙋🏻♂️. In 2017, the group approved an emoji depicting a woman wearing a hijab, or head scarf 🧕🏽.
In 2019, the Consortium added emojis showing people using wheelchairs 👨🏼🦽 and people with prosthetic limbs 🦾. New emojis this year include couples with different skin tones and people with different types of facial hair.
Anyone can submit a proposal for a new emoji to the Unicode Consortium. If you could design a new emoji, what would it be?