You're About To Get A Ton Of New Emoji — Including A SLOTH

It’s that time again: The Unicode Consortium has officially released the Emoji 12.0 set — meaning that 230 new emoji have arrived for 2019. Should various platforms decide to implement these new emoji (and, let’s face it, they probably will), we can expect to see many of them arriving on our emoji keyboard before the year is out. Your text messages just got a whole lot more exciting.

Unicode made the announcement on Tuesday in a blog post, stating all the data and documentation required for implementation of the Emoji 12.0 set had been released. The new set includes 59 brand-new emoji, as well as 171 variants for gender and skin tone — meaning that, overall, 230 new emoji could be coming our way soon.

There are plenty of notable additions included in all those new little characters, too. For example, in 2018, Apple proposed a series of emoji representing people with disabilities; those emoji have now been approved as part of the Emoji 12.0 set. There are also more gender-inclusive emoji, including gender-neutral options, all of which are compatible with the skin tone modifiers that were released several years ago.

Emojipedia — wonderful resource that it is — has created a video featuring mockups of what we might be able to expect all 230 new emoji to look like. Check it out here:

Now, the thing with emoji is that Unicode controls what's included in the Unicode Standard emoji set — but individual platforms are responsible for implanting each character themselves. That means that A) although the full set has been approved for implementation, not all platforms will necessarily implement them at the same time, if at all, and B) the emoji look different from platform to platform. Emojipedia typically mocks up its sample emoji designs in Apple’s style, so that’s what you’ll see here — but note that, if and when the various platforms implement the new emoji, they won’t necessarily look like they do here. (Heck, even Apple’s final designs won’t look like Emojipedia’s Apple-esque images.) So, y’know, just… keep that in mind.

For the curious, here are 10 of Emoji 12.0’s standout additions:


People Holding Hands

Four different emoji depicting pairs of folks holding hands will be available: Woman and man holding hands, men holding hands, women holding hands, and a gender-neutral option, people holding hands. All four of these emoji utilize the skin tone options that were originally launched in 2015.


Representation For People With Disabilities

Tons of emoji representing people with disabilities have been added, including people in both manual and motorized wheelchairs, people using probing canes, and deaf people using sign language. The two kinds of wheelchairs and the probing cane also both now exist as individual emoji, as do an ear with a hearing aid and mechanical arms and legs. Service and guide dogs are available now, as well.



I am obviously most excited about the sloth emoji, because, like Kristen Bell, I have A Thing For Sloths. If sloths aren’t your jam, though, the other new animal emoji — like the orangutan, flamingo, skunk, pearl oyster, and otter options — might float your proverbial boat a bit more.


Waffle And Butter

Leslie Knope would be so very, very pleased.


Falafel And Mate Drink

Actually, come to think of it, it’s really surprising to me that most of the new food additions didn’t already exist. Besides the others we've already looked at, onion, garlic, juice box, and giant ice cube emoji have all only just joined the Unicode ranks.



Besides the kimono emoji, which was approved by Unicode in 2010 but not added to many emoji sets until several years later, all of the clothing emoji that have hitherto been available have depicted Western items — dresses, T-shirts, heeled shoes, and the like. As such, it’s nice to see an addition that isn’t Western (although goodness knows there’s plenty of room for more, too).


White Heart

According to the Emojipedia, the white heart emoji was one of the most requested emoji of 2018. I’m honestly not sure why everyone is so into the idea of a white heart emoji, but hey, at least y’all finally got what you wanted, right?


Hindu Temple

I also appreciate the expansion of diverse religious iconography. This temple joins the church, synagogue, Shinto shrine, mosque, and Kaaba emoji already included in the emoji set.


Ringed Planet

Saturn was feeling neglected, apparently.



Just, y’know, in case you’ve ever wanted to write an emoji retelling of the history of Lizzie Borden.

Check out all of Emojipedia's Emoji 12.0 mockups here. Looks like there's plenty in store!