Holy hot tamales, Batman! Get ready for rollerskating mammoths!

Over a hundred new emojis are debuting this year including new food options (like tamales), several animals (welcome at last, wooly mammoth), and the perplexingly long-absent roller skate emoji.

🤔 From idea to emoji 🤔

The process of creating and approving new emojis for our phones is surprisingly complicated. It may seem like some vague smartphone authority just wills new emojis into being, but actually, anyone can submit a design!

…if you’re willing to go through the rigorous, lengthy process, that is. Getting an emoji design approved can take up to two years! Also, you have to write a 10-page paper, like it’s high school all over again. ✍️ 🎒

If you’re just dying to submit your own emoji proposal, you’ll have to do more than just write that paper. Get ready to gather some serious data, because the Unicode Consortium that reviews and approves new emoji ideas doesn’t even consider proposals that can’t prove their emoji will be frequently used.

Pre-millennial emojis

This whole emoji craze isn’t a new fad. Did you know that early forms of ️☀️ and ️♥ and a dozen other emojis were first introduced in the late 90s? An evolution of the good old chatroom emoticon, these first emojis premiered in Japan and received much love.

In fact, it was Japan that gave us our most-loved 90s emoticon, as well: ¯_(ツ)_/¯. That’s a Japanese character in between those parentheses, there.

Emojis for all

We’ve come a long way from the early days of Unicode emojis, where everyone had one skin tone and flamenco dancer and bunny ear girl were just about the only options for women.

Emojis have become a ubiquitous nonverbal form of communication. And with each update, our little picture sentences gain even more clarity. It’s amazing how something as simple as 🙃 has come to convey even more information than a whole paragraph of text ever could.

Some people say that one day we’ll make the swap to emoji-only communication. For the record, we don’t see things going quite that far, but we’re always down for the ability to order bubble tea with a single picture.

And hey, we finally got that ninja!

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