The draft list for the next round of new emoji was announced today, two days ahead of World Emoji Day on July 17th. Contenders include a melting smiley face, a low battery, a disco ball, and several new hand shapes — like heart hands and index finger pointing at viewer — for courting your sweeties or taunting your enemies.
The release of new emoji was delayed this year because of the pandemic, and proposal submissions were on pause until April. This list won’t be finalized by the Unicode Consortium until September, but in general, most candidates shown in the draft make it through. The final versions should roll out to different devices and platforms starting in late 2021 through 2022.
The new emoji show a continued expansion of race and gender inclusivity. The current lineup has customizable skin tones for the handshake emoji, a person with crown to hang out with the existing prince and princess emoji, and a pregnant man and pregnant person join the pregnant woman.
I am personally very excited for the beans emoji, something I’ve longed for ever since I named my dog Bean a few years ago. I also plan to get a lot of mileage out of the X-ray emoji, because I can’t get enough emoji that have a little eeriness to them.
The Verge’s own Jay Peters contributed proposals for the saluting face and bubbles emoji. You can also thank him for the yawning face and waffle emoji that were introduced in 2019, and you can read about that creative journey here.