Texting Just Got Better: Hundreds of New Emoji Being Added


Source: Getty Images

Source: Getty Images

It’s getting easier to send a text without any actual text.

Texting is getting more visual with the new update to Unicode that includes 250 more Emoji, putting users one step closer to texting without using words.

Emoji were first developed in Japan by mobile carriers as a way to include pictures in text messages. They have since caught on worldwide, especially among teenagers and young people. The character-sized photos are often used to replace a word in a sentence or as decoration in a text message. Emoji have an advantage over photos in that they can be included in the same line as text, making them more convenient. Also they take up much less data than a photo. Emoji have also begun to appear outside of texts in social media posts and in messaging apps such as WhatsApp.

Unicode is the computer software that allows the computer to read an “A” as the first letter of the alphabet. The new Version 7.0 of the Unicode Standard update features more than just the little images. In total, it adds more than 2,800 new characters, making Emoji less than 10 percent of the total update. It also includes updates to fonts, adds currency symbols like the Russian rubble and Azerbaijani manat and includes support for twenty-three less common and historic scripts. Since Unicode is the character-encoding system used by the vast majority of computers, smartphones and tablets all will be affected by the update when it comes out.

The new Emoji will cover a wide variety of objects and concepts, but will include some increased diversity in people, a wide variety of tech images and more nature images. Emojipedia has the complete list of Emoji that will be included in the update. Unicode said in its blog post announcing the update that the new Emoji were derived from the Wingdings and Webdings fonts. This means that the new Emoji likely are built based on existing support for those fonts.

The popularity of Emoji is not that different than the use of emoticons in the AIM days. Heck, Emoji even include some emoticons in its base set. Companies can also include their own additional Emoji. Apple recently added same-sex couples and families to its Emoji, reported AppleInsider. Developers have also added to the Emoji pool by creating their own Emoji apps that users can add to their current caches of the popular pictograms. These apps exist on both the iOS and Android platforms.

The Emoji fad continues to grow for now with this release, which will be officially out in July. While it won’t replace the text portion of texting entirely, it is one step closer to that day with this latest update.

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