Who Creates and Validates Emojis? And Why Do People Think It’s WhatsApp?

Emojis are the colorful and expressive symbols that we use to communicate our emotions, ideas, and opinions online. They have become a universal language that transcends borders, cultures, and platforms. But have you ever wondered who creates and validates these emojis? How do they become part of the standard set of characters that we can use on our devices and applications?

The answer is the Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit organization that sets the standard for how text is represented and displayed across various programs and pieces of software. The Unicode Consortium deals with about 50 emoji proposals a year, and has a rigorous process to evaluate, approve, and implement them.

The process starts with anyone who has an idea for a new emoji. Anyone can submit a proposal to the Unicode Consortium, following the guidelines and criteria that they have established. Some of the factors that they consider are:

  • The expected usage level and frequency
  • The distinctiveness and clarity of the design
  • The completeness and consistency of the set
  • The compatibility with existing emojis
  • The relevance and importance of the concept

The proposal should also include a detailed explanation of the meaning, purpose, and usage of the emoji, as well as supporting evidence such as images, references, and data.

The proposal then goes through three steps in the approval process before it becomes standard in Unicode:

  1. Initial Proposal: During this time, an Emoji Subcommittee (ESC) within Unicode reviews all pitches, and sends them for endorsement to the Unicode Technical Committee or UTC.
  2. UTC Consideration: The entire committee then reviews the filtered set of proposals from the ESC. They may accept, reject, or request revisions for each proposal. They may also assign a tentative code point and name for the emoji.
  3. Final Approval: Once the Unicode finally decides to implement the emoji, it becomes a “Final Candidate”. It is then assigned a final code point and name, and added to the Unicode Standard.

After an emoji is approved by the Unicode Consortium, it is up to the individual platforms and vendors to design and display their own versions of the emoji. For example, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and others may have different styles and interpretations of the same emoji. However, they should follow the general guidelines and specifications provided by Unicode to ensure cross-platform compatibility and consistency.

The Unicode Consortium releases new sets of emojis every year, usually in June or July. The latest release was Emoji 14.0 in July 2023, which added 37 new emojis such as melting face, biting lip, coral, x-ray, beans, and more. The next release will be Emoji 15.0 in June 2024, which is currently accepting proposals until September 2023.

If you have an idea for a new emoji that you think deserves to be part of the Unicode Standard, you can submit your proposal to the Unicode Consortium following their instructions. You may need to do some research, analysis, and documentation to support your pitch. You may also need to be patient and persistent, as the process can take up to two years or more. However, if your proposal is successful, you will have contributed to the evolution of online communication and expression. You will also have made millions of people happy with your new emoji. 😊

But why do some people think that WhatsApp creates emojis?

This is because WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, with over 2 billion users. Many people use WhatsApp to send text messages, voice messages, photos, videos, documents, stickers, and emojis. WhatsApp has its own set of emojis that are different from other platforms. For example, WhatsApp’s smiley face emoji has a slight tilt compared to Apple’s or Google’s.

WhatsApp does not create emojis from scratch. It uses the Unicode Standard as a base for its emojis. However, it customizes them according to its own style and preference. WhatsApp also updates its emojis regularly to match the latest Unicode releases. For example, in April 2023, WhatsApp added 217 new emojis from Emoji 13.1. Some of these new emojis include heart on fire, face in clouds, woman with beard, man with veil, and more.

WhatsApp also allows users to create their own custom stickers using third-party apps such as Sticker Maker or Fotor . These apps let users upload their own images or illustrations and turn them into stickers that can be sent on WhatsApp. Users can also add text or other elements to their stickers using these apps.

However, these custom stickers are not emojis. They are different types of media that are sent as images on WhatsApp. They do not have code points or names assigned by Unicode. They are not part of the standard set of characters that can be used across different platforms and applications. They are only visible and usable on WhatsApp.

Therefore, WhatsApp does not create emojis. It only designs and displays its own versions of emojis that are approved and standardized by the Unicode Consortium. WhatsApp also enables users to create their own custom stickers using third-party apps, but these are not emojis either. They are just images that can be sent on WhatsApp. Emojis are created and validated by the Unicode Consortium, the authority that regulates the representation and display of text across various programs and pieces of software.

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