No New Emojis Will Be Released Next Year Due to Coronavirus: 'We Simply Can't Commit'

The coronavirus has affected every aspect of our lives — including emojis

New food emojis
Photo: Emojipedia

If you’re someone who looks forward to the latest and greatest emoji, don’t hold out hope for any new designs next year.

The Unicode Consortium, the non-profit organization that oversees emoji standards across devices, announced this week that it is delaying next year’s release of new emoji by six months, from March to September 2021.

Since Apple and other companies release new versions of their software in the fall — these updates typically include new emoji — the delay means the new designs won’t be available until 2022 once companies have had time to include them in their major software updates for smartphones, tablets and computers that year, the Consortium explained in a statement.

The decision to postpone version 14.0 of the Unicode Standard comes after the group listened to their volunteers, who said they have had their lives impacted by the coronavirus epidemic.

“Under the current circumstances we’ve heard that our contributors have a lot on their plates at the moment and decided it was in the best interests of our volunteers and the organizations that depend on the standard to push out our release date,” said Mark Davis, president of the Consortium.

“This year we simply can’t commit to the same schedule we’ve adhered to in the past,” he added.

New Emojis
Emojis for iOS devices. Apple/Emojipedia

Fortunately, the move does not affect emojis that were already slated for release in version 13.0 — those will still make their debut this fall, the Consortium said.

This release will include 55 new emoji characters, including “several new emoji for smileys, gender-neutral people, animals, and the potted plant,” the organization detailed in a post to its website.

The Unicode Consortium’s Emoji Subcommittee will be accepting proposals for new emojis from June 15 until Sept. 1.

Past proposals have led to new emojis being implemented.

A “drop-of-blood” emoji was added in 2019, thanks to a campaign by Plan International that requested a symbol that could be used to depict a woman’s period. According to NPR, the organization believed that including the emoji will help to break the “taboo” of menstruation around the world.

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“Not only would a blood drop emoji be relevant for hundreds of millions of women and people who menstruate all around the world,” Plan International explained in their proposal for the emoji, “it would also show that periods aren’t taboo and they are something we should be able to talk about openly and honestly.”

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