The Unicode 9 Emoji Are Officially Here, So Here's Everything You Need To Know About Them

There's no feeling quite like that of knowing you chose the absolute perfect emoji for your text conversation. It's an art, really — and now there's good news for emoji lovers everywhere: The Unicode 9 emoji are here! They dropped today (June 21), opening the doors to all kinds of exciting new opportunities for smartphone users the world over. And really, what better way is there to celebrate all of the selfies you're going to take this summer than with an actual selfie emoji?

The update includes a variety of foods, faces, and more — 72 in all — although there's one emoji that ultimately didn't end up making the cut (but for a very good reason). The conversation around emoji is becoming increasingly important, too, with smartphone users pushing for greater diversity in emoji people: Racially diverse emoji finally arrived in 2015; so did LGBTQ emoji; and now we're in the process of getting equal representation for women emoji, because hey, we do more than paint our nails and cut our hair. There's still plenty of work to be done, too — there are currently no emoji representing single-parent families, for example, and the rainbow flag emoji remains conspicuously absent — but at least change is happening, slowly but surely. Because although emoji might seem trivial, how we talk about ourselves matters, and emoji are a common method of communication now. If we're going to be able to talk about everyone using them, we need much more diversity in our emoji vocabulary.

But if you've already gone hunting for the 72 new emoji in your smartphone, you might want to pump the brakes a little, because the process isn't quite finished just yet. Read on for all the need-to-know facts about Unicode's most recent emoji update.

What Is Unicode 9?

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Unicode 9 is the latest update to the Unicode standard, which includes the standard set of emoji available for all operating systems and platforms to use. We knew we could expect them in late June, and the Unicode Consortium had already confirmed which emoji would be added earlier this year. Now, as of June 21, the emoji are officially available for individual platforms to adapt (more on this in a bit).

Which Emoji Are Included?

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The new emoji update brings a wealth of new images to our smartphones, including the long-awaited avocado emoji (YES), a shrug, face palm, selfie, black heart, bacon, and salad. All in all, there are 72 glorious new emoji to choose from. One emoji that ultimately wasn't accepted? The rifle. For the curious, here's why it was pulled.

When And How Can I Get The New Emoji?

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This is where things get a little tricky. While the Unicode Consortium gets the final say in which emoji make the cut, they are not responsible for actually designing and implementing them across each smartphone platform. That falls to the hands of the platforms themselves. So, while the emoji are officially here, it's up to Apple, Google, etc. to design and deploy them, which means you may end up waiting a little while longer before you can select them right from your favorite texting program.

What's Next?

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Unicode is as excited about new emoji as we are, and yes, Unicode 10 is already in the works. Potential emoji are still being decided on, and the list could certainly change; but as of right now, there's talk of chopsticks, a fortune cookie, and a take-out box, among others. Full steam ahead!

Images: Unicode; Giphy (4)