Emoji introduce more than 250 leftfield new characters
Published 19/06/2014 | 08:50
A chipmunk, a passenger ship and a 'reversed victory hand' are among the 250 new emojis soon to be made available on your smartphone.
Yet aficionados of the emoticon series will be disappointed to learn the new additions contain only two new faces; a slightly frowning face and a slightly smiling face.
The Unicode Consortium, the organisation which ensures emojis are rendered and read by software correctly, has published a list of the new symbols, highlighted in yellow.
Developed for use in Japanese SMS messages, emoji have become enormously popular for peppering texts, tweets and other messages with colourful icons, which depict wide range of emotions, food, animals and much, much more.
The vast majority of the new characters to appear in the Unicode 7.0 update are objects, including a printer, rosette and joystick, or concept images such as a notched right semicircle with three dots, sideways black left pointing index and a decrease font size symbol.
Among the stranger additions are a raised hand with fingers splayed (the Star Trek Valcan salute), a man in a business suit levitating and a wind blowing face.
A controversial addition is the middle finger emoji, also known as the 'flipping the bird emoji', and widely recognised as an offensive gesture in western cultures.
The new emoji are likely to take a while to appear on users' phones as developers adapt the images to various platforms.
Emojitracker, a site dedicated to tracking the most used emojis in tweets, lists a heart playing card as the most popular of the symbols, appearing in over 351 million tweets.
A face crying with laughter is the second most used, followed by a cynical-looking unamused face and one sporting love hearts for eyes, and have been used over 294 million, 141 million and 129 million times respectively.
The extreme popularity of the faces within the emoji series makes their lack of inclusion in the update surprising. Hand gestures and other heart variations are also lacking, while used consistently in the existing version.