For example: «The 🐱 CAT FACE, 🐷 PIG FACE, or 🐰 RABBIT FACE may be used to evoke positive feelings, while🕷 SPIDER may used to evoke negative feelings,» according to the Unicode Consortium.
There are other selection factors which can aid your application: Image distinctiveness, completeness and whether the emoji has been frequently requested, like in the case of theAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.
Image distinctiveness refers to how unique an emoji is compared to the current ones available. «Completeness» means whether certain emoji is needed to complete a set. In Unicode 8.0, five emoji were added to complete the zodiac, for example.
According to the Unicode Consortium, the effect of petitions on selecting emoji is «misrepresented.» So while a petition looks good, it has little effect in terms of getting your emoji selected.
What will get turned away as emoji?
The Unicode Consortium has no time for overly specific emoji, amongst other things. For example, you can already get french fries as an emoji, so any pitches for potato chips, potato wedges, hash browns, rosti etc. will likely get rejected on the basis that it’s overly specific.
You can’t have what it calls «open-ended» emoji either, referring to icons that are just one of many with no particular reason to «favour it over others of that type.» So no pink tennis balls, if there’s already a green one.
Logos, brands, UI icons, signage, specific people and deities will never make it; despite your yearning for Pikachu emoji. Emoji that’s considered «transient» a.k.a. a fad will be excluded.
How long will it take to approve?
About a year-and-half from submission to implementation, according to the Unicode Consortium’s sample timeline.
Proposals need to be in by Oct. 1 for it to be considered in the next release, which is discussed in the following year. Your submission will initially make its way through the emoji sub-committee, who decide whether if it should be forwarded to the (UTC) who have the final say.
The UTC discusses the proposal over a number of meetings, then they reach a consensus to what emoji proposals are declined, or returned for additional work. If the proposal is accepted, it’ll become an emoji candidate. Yay! At the end of the year, the UTC decides what candidates will become an emoji in the next release.
And there you have it, the brutal (but not impossible!) world of trying to get a new emoji included on your phone.
Ready to submit a proposal? Head this way.