Call them emojis or emoticons, you're sure to see even more of those colourful little symbols in all forms of digital communication, with the Unicode Consortium confirming featuring we'll have at least 230 new emojis to choose from in 2019 when different skin tones and genders are included.
In today’s time-starved world, why struggle to put something into words when a few well-placed emojis can do all the talking for you?
With a 2016 infographic by CMO revealing that 92% of world’s online population used emojis three years ago, it’s no surprise that there’s been lots of traction in the emoji space of late, with more to come.
In her #BizTrends2019 thought leadership, global trendspotter Marian Salzman wrote:
Today, a conversation is often reduced to a quick text, an urgent command… or an emotion conveyed with an emoticon. There are emoticons for everything now. There’s even World Emoji Day, and alternatives have popped up like GIFs and musical mentions to insert easily to humanise or soften the message.
Announced a few months ahead of the sixth World Emoji Day, set for 17 July 2019, digital communicators have a more diverse emoji set to play with than ever before.
Get ready for these 230 new emojis
The 230 new emojis – that total tally is based on all the different skin tones and genders are included in the 59 new ones – are due to be released this year. See the video below from Emojipedia, which reveals the new emoji to look forward to in 2019:
With the first emoji set brought into play in 1997, Scroll In reveals that new skin tones were only built into the Unicode in 2015. So there’s much positivity over the fact that the 2019 update places emphasis on living with a disability.
According to Curbed, the new disability-related emoji were developed by Apple in conjunction with America’s National Association of the Deaf, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and the American Council of the Blind, representing the following disability communities: Blind and low vision, deaf and hard of hearing, physical motor, and hidden disabilities.
The final emoji list for 2019 has been approved and includes several new emojis for the disability community, including Deaf and Blind emojis, disabled people in both manual and power wheelchairs, and artificial limbs. #emoji12#Disabilitypic.twitter.com/cLlPcih4u6
Users will be able to maximally configure the ‘people holding hands’ emoji with skin tone and gender options, allowing for couples of varying ethnicities that are same gender, mixed gender, or have one or both partners who identify as non-binary, to configure an emoji that is more representative of them.
But wait, there's more - a recent Cape Talk interview with breakfast host, Bongani Bingwa, reveals the inclusion of a 'blood drop' or period emoji is the result of a long campaign by Clan International UK, which has been "...been lobbying for emojis to give women power over their menstruation and remove the stigma, while improving the digital conversation."
Cue celebratory emoji, everywhere!
Meme + emoji = memoji
On the topic of celebration, Salzman’s ‘musical mentions’ have also found firm footing in the emoji world as we welcome the memoji.
That’s meme + emoji, as introduced by Apple at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards on 10 February 2019, where videos of Ariana Grande's 7 Rings, Khalid's Talk, and Florida Georgia Line's Simple were aired by Apple.
It seems a picture – especially when paired with sound – may well be worth a thousand words.
Leigh Andrews AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is former Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality, and of course, gourmet food and drinks! She can be reached on Twitter at @Leigh_Andrews.