The keyboard is about to expand – but not right away
The keyboard is about to expand – but not right away

Emoji update to bring 72 more characters, including shrug, selfie and range of breakfast foods

The emoji authorities have blessed people with new pictures that include green faces and green salads – but you might have to wait for them to actually arrive on your phone

Andrew Griffin
Friday 03 June 2016 10:00

Everyone’s emoji vocabulary is about to receive a huge expansion as authorities roll out new pictures.

The Unicode Consortium, which maintains the standards for emoji so that they can work across sites, sending out a new update. And it includes a wide variety of pictures, including

Some of those serve obvious purposes, like a picture that shows someone rolling on the floor laughing or a shrug, which is usually represented through letters like: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

A sample of the new emoji, compiled by Emojipedia

Others are slightly more unexpected, like a face with a cowboy hat and a gherkin.

Yet more tend to build on existing pictures to give them more possibilities. That includes the addition of a glass of milk, clinking glasses and a tumbler full of whiskey, building on the existing beer and martini glasses.

It could still take some time for the emoji to actually arrive on your phone. Though the non-profit consortium will approve the new emoji towards the end of the month, they have to be drawn and integrated into particular operating systems by the companies that make them.

That has led to some problems with the various little images, which experts have said can potentially cause huge amounts of confusion because each company draws them differently.

And the new pictures won’t solve all of the existing problems with emoji. Many have argued that despite the addition of skin tone modifiers, for instance, the pictures are still a long way from being diverse enough – it’s not possible to show a woman doing most of the jobs that they depict, for instance, something that Google engineers want to fix.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in