For some emoji enthusiasts, there’s always room for a new icon on the keyboard.
Taco Bell is helping lead the charge to add a taco. Several publications have suggested their own additions. And more than 15,000 supporters of the redheaded community are campaigning for representation on Change.org.
Now, Jeremy Burge, emoji afficianado and founder of a website called Emojipedia, has created a social media campaign called World Emoji Day, which he set for July 17 based on the calendar shown on iPhones. (Because of differences in how services and operating systems interpret code, the calendar reads July 15 on Twitter or no date at all on Android.)
Mr. Burge has also launched what he calls “an experiment in Emoji democracy” with a campaign for new pictograms on the message board Reddit.
He wants people to vote on what they believe should be the next icon to be added to emoji keyboards, which are available on most smartphones. Contenders on Reddit so far include strips of bacon, a rainbow flag and, yes, a taco.
— ➰Havana➰ (@Randomly_Jessi) July 17, 2015
But an Internet campaign doesn’t mean those suggestions will be added. It turns out that emojis are regulated by a group called The Unicode Consortium, which aims to create a universal infrastructure that operates across platforms and languages. From the consortium’s approved list, phone manufacturers pick what they will make available to their users.
Anyone can submit a proposal to add a new character. Regarding emojis, the group considers a number of factors, including expected usage level, compatibility with other platforms and image distinctiveness.
Some of the suggestions in the EmojiVote subreddit are already candidates for Unicode’s consideration, Mr. Burge said, and its choices will be announced next June.
Others, like the taco emoji, have already met Unicode’s approval but are not yet available to phone users. Some never make it to that point. For example, last year, Unicode approved more than 230 emojis, but Apple has made only one available to iPhone users, Mr. Burge said.
“Some emojis may never see the light of day,” he said.
Earlier this year, Unicode worked with Apple to add more than 300 emojis, many focused on diversity after criticism over a perceived lack of black emojis. Among them were five more skin color options, 32 more country flags and families with same-sex parents to supplement the emoticon showing a mother, father and child.
Emojipedia keeps track of the additions, including the most recent wavethat added 41 characters, including a unicorn and a “nerd face.”
Several interested parties are still waiting for results.
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) July 17, 2015
— Laviòsa, non Laviosá (@xlucyshug) July 17, 2015
— Natty Moore (@NattyBM) July 17, 2015