๐Ÿ“ฃ Unicode Announces List Of 2021 New Emojis ๐Ÿคฉ

Written by: Ortega
Modified: Aug 29, 2022

2020 has been a very hard year for most of us. Just when we thought it would be a year of fresh starts, countless disasters have come along. But if there is one thing 2020 has taught us so far, it’s to take nothing for granted. Good news, no matter how big or small, is still good news. And we’ve got some good news for all the emoji lovers out there!


Unicode 14.0 Delay

2021 new emojis, no new emojis in 2021, 2021 emojis, 2021 emojis cancelled

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Last April, we talked about the official cancellation of the 2021 new emojis. In our article, we said that the Unicode Consortium, the governing body of emojis, announced to the public that the roll-out of Unicode 14.0, scheduled for release in March 2021, will happen in 2022. This is because the Coronavirus fallout has forced the Consortium to delay the new version of Unicode Standard — which underpins emoji — by six months, from March 2021 to September 2021. 


Emoji 13.1 Release

emojis, group of emojis, hand holding phone

Photo from iDownloadBlog.com

You might think, well, isn’t September like the late part of 2021? It is, but the emojis need to be delivered to various vendors like Apple, Google, Samsung, etc. Moving forward from that, we also did mention in our report that, to make up for the cancellation of the supposedly upcoming 2021 new emojis, the Unicode Consortium suggested an Emoji 13.1 release. This will be an updated version of Emoji 13.0, but it will only have emoji sequences, and it won’t contain new Unicode Characters.


Emojis Part Of 13.1

Emoji sequence, emoji 13.1, emoji 13.1 release

Photo from MacRumours

In case you’ve forgotten, emoji sequences are basically a group of emojis that appear as a single emoji on digital platforms.  These types of emojis are easier to put into new software releases because the designers will use existing characters already approved by Unicode to make them. To put it in even simpler terms, think of it this way- Unicode will make a new sandwich out of several existing sandwiches, something like that.


Unicode Technical Committee Meeting

Unicode technical meeting, minutes of the meeting, Unicode Technical Meeting

Photo from Unicode.org

You’re probably thinking, okay, I know all this, but how is it related to the cancellation of the 2021 new emojis list? Well, last April, members of the Unicode Technical Committee met over Zoom to decide whether there should be an Emoji 13.1 release to make up for the 2021 new emojis’ no-show. Representatives of Adobe, Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Netflix were also at the meeting. 

Minutes Of The Meeting

Everyone at the meeting voted, and this is what they voted for: They could either just go with the 2021 new emojis cancellation and postpone the release of ALL emojis until Unicode 14.0. This means that there will be no new emojis on phones until 2022. The second option would be to push through with Emoji 13.1.

Vote Results

What do you know? Option B won! Of course, this choice limits the type and number of emoji released, but on the flip side of things, it would give Unicode the chance to work on providing additional skin tone support to several emojis. A recurring issue in the emoji world is the lack of racial diversity among emoji characters, and Emoji 13.1 will be able to address that.

Like what we discussed earlier, they will make the new emojis out of the existing code sequence. For example, the new “Mending Heart,” emoji will be a combination of the heart and bandage emoji. It will be an image of a heart with a bandage over it. Better than nothing, right? Way better than having zero 2021 new emojis and nothing to look forward to in the coming year.


2020 Emojis Already Out

117 new emojis, new emojis 2020

With all this talk about the 2021 new emojis, let us not forget that the Unicode Consortium will release 117 new emojis this year. In fact, they have already released some! As of this writing, the emojis are available on Twitter, and will appear on Windows, Samsung, and Apple devices later in the year.

pinched finger emoji in different skin tone colors

A lot of users are happy about this because the list includes online versions of real-life food and cultural trends, the Bubble Tea emoji and Pinched Fingers emoji are good examples. 


Scheduled Release Of Emoji 13.1

Based on the meeting last April, Emoji 13.1 will come out in October. This deviates from their past schedules, normally, new emojis are released between March and June, giving companies time to get their emoji updates ready by Fall, but, as we all know, this a special release, and it is the best that the Unicode can do under these special circumstances. 


2021 New Emojis List

2021 new emojis, Unicode 13.1, Unicode 13.0 minor release

Photo from Fone Arena

Anyway, enough of the explaining, let’s go down to it! And on that note, we present to you, without further ado, the emojis part of Emoji 13.1. Please note, that the following emojis are under draft status, so the list could change prior to release. 

Face In The Clouds 

This emoji shows a smiley with its face behind clouds. The image conveys a feeling of confusion, fogginess, having their “head in the clouds.” 

Face Exhaling 

This emoji shows a smiley with a small white puff of smoke coming from the side of its mouth. It conveys the feeling of relief and can also show that one is gasping, groaning, whispering, or even whistling! 

Face With Spiral Eyes 

This emoji shows a yellow face with two spirals in place of eyes and a lopsided expression. The image conveys a feeling of dizziness and can also show that one is being hypnotized, in trouble, or in awe. Instead of saying, “whoa,” you can use this emoji instead. 

Heart On Fire 

This emoji shows an illustration of a red heart with flames surrounding it. The image conveys a feeling of love, lust, and a burning action.

Mending Heart 

This emoji shows a red heart with a white bandage covering its top heart. The image will show that someone is recovering, recuperating, healing, or improving. 

Bearded Person 

This emoji shows an illustration of a person with a beard. The beard is brown and covers the lower part of the individual’s face. Emoji 13.1 will also include a Bearded Man and a Bearded Woman! All versions will have skin tone support.

This means that the Bearded Person emoji, Bearded Man emoji, and Bearded Woman emoji will have five color variations, dark skin tone, light skin tone, medium skin tone, medium-dark skin tone, and medium-light skin tone. 

It is used to describe a man or woman with a beard. Pretty self-explanatory, actually. 


Family Emojis 

In an effort to be more inclusive and to appeal to a greater audience, Unicode is releasing skin support for the following emojis.

Couple With Heart 

This emoji shows an image of a man and a woman with a red heart in between them. Both the man and the woman have long brown hair, yellow faces, and round black eyes. This is used to describe a man and a woman in love. 

At the moment, the Couple With Heart emoji is only available in the default yellow skin color, but once Emoji 13.1 arrives, five color variations will be added to it. The five skin tone variants are light skin tone, medium-light skin tone, medium skin tone, medium-dark skin tone, and dark skin tone. 

Couple With Heart: Man, Man

This emoji shows an illustration of two men side by side, with a smile on their faces, and a red heart floating in the air between them. When Emoji 13.1 is released, five color variants will be under this emoji. You’ll see the Couple With Heart: Man, Man emoji in light skin tone, medium-light skin tone, medium skin tone, medium-dark skin tone, and dark skin tone. 

It will be a gender-inclusive option to the Couple With Heart emoji, with the symbol showing two men in love. 

Couple With Heart: Woman, Woman 

This emoji shows an image of two women standing next to each other, smiling, with a red heart floating on top of them. 

The Couple With Heart: Woman, Woman emoji is a direct representation of gender in the emoji world, and is another addition to Unicode’s ever-growing gender-inclusive emoji list.

The Couple With Heart: Woman, Woman emoji will be available in various skin tones, too. Soon, users will be able to post the same symbol but in light skin tone, medium-light skin tone, medium skin tone, medium-dark skin tone, and dark skin tone.


Coming To Your Phones

Now, here is the slightly confusing part. Emoji 13.1 will be available to the public by October of this year but won’t come to phones until around March 2021 at the earliest, and maybe September to November 2021 at the latest. In case you’re wondering why there is a gap in between months, it is to allow vendors to personalize the emojis. Many times the apps on Android use their own emoji designs, which differ from the system. Examples are WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, and Telegram.

cubes of social media apps

Image by bloomicon on Adobe Stock

On the other hand, Apple strategically makes its emoji updates coincide with a release of a specific iOS. Some users think an emoji update coming to phones a year after they announce it is too long, while others don’t mind. 



students using social networks and sending emojis

Photo from Adobe Stock

So, there you go! What did you think of the 2021 new emojis? Did you like it? Or were you hoping for more? We’d love to hear what you have to say, so please don’t be afraid to drop us a line or two.

As for us, we were actually hoping for a little more to go with the release of Emoji 13.1, but at least we’ve got something to look forward to in 2021. Big thanks and early congrats to the Unicode Consortium for making it happen!