A gender-neutral Santa Claus and a crying smiley face are among 117 new emojis revealed in the latest list of icons for 2020.

 

Due to be released this year, the icons have been approved by emoji regulator Unicode Consortium, and also includes the transgender flag, a squirrel and a boomerang.

Same-sex couples and gender-neutral emojis were among a raft of inclusive characters added to the global library last year, but the regulator faced criticism after the transgender flag and symbol were left out.

Both have now been added to the library.

Companies like Apple and Google use the list provided by the Unicode Consortium to design their own style of the approved emojis, so that they can be used across most operating systems.

The Emojipedia site, which is owned by the Unicode Consortium, said: Announced today by the Unicode Consortium, the 117 new emojis form part of Emoji 13.0 and will come to most platforms in the second half of 2020.

Variations of existing emojis now approved for 2020 include a woman or gender-inclusive person in a tuxedo, as well as a gender-neutral person or a man in a veil.

These, along with other approved emojis, will be coming to phones later this year.

Also included in this update is a gender-inclusive alternative to Santa Claus and Mrs Claus, named Mx Claus. This addition is part of an ongoing effort to make more consistent set of gender options across the board, and expands upon the 138 new gender-neutral emojis added in late 2019 as part of Emoji 12.1.

Other notable additions to the emoji library include:

  • A seal
  • Blueberries
  • Pepper
  • Roller skate
  • A pair of lungs
  • Bubble tea
  • The transgender logo
  • A woolly mammoth
  • Men feeding babies
  • A crying smiley face

There is no release date for when the new set of emojis will hit our phones, but traditionally, it is later in the year when Apple and Google roll out their updated software to customers.

(c) Sky News 2020: Gender-neutral Santa and crying smiley face among 117 new emojis