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Unicode® Emoji

Emoji are pictographs (pictorial symbols) that are typically presented in a colorful form and used inline in text. They represent things such as faces, weather, vehicles and buildings, food and drink, animals and plants, or icons that represent emotions, feelings, or activities.

This page provides information about Unicode emoji and their development. For external resources on emoji, see Emoji Resources. For information about emoji images on this site, see Emoji Images and Rights.

The presentation at the top right gives an overview of Unicode emoji. There isn’t a voice-over, so click on the gear to open the speaker notes.

Unicode Emoji Resources

UTR #51, Unicode Emoji provides design guidelines and data for improving emoji interoperability across platforms, and gives background information about emoji symbols
Unicode Emoji Charts illustrate various features of the emoji characters in Unicode, and accompany the material in UTR #51.
Unicode Emoji Data Files are the machine-readable emoji data files associated with UTR #51.
Submitting Emoji Proposals describes how emoji are proposed and selected for inclusion in the Unicode Standard.
FAQ: Emoji and Dingbats provides some frequently-asked questions and answers for several topics related to emoji.
Emoji-related Press collects emoji-related media articles and presentations.
Unicode Utilities Emoji Set displays emoji characters as an LDML/ICU UnicodeSet; primarily intended for software developers.

Unicode Emoji Subcommittee

The Unicode Emoji Subcommittee is responsible for the following:

  • Updating, revising, and extending emoji documents such as UTR #51, Unicode Emoji and Unicode Emoji Charts.
  • Taking input from various sources and reviewing requests for new emoji characters.
  • Creating proposals for the Unicode Technical Committee regarding additional emoji characters and new emoji-related mechanisms.
  • Investigating longer-term mechanisms for supporting emoji as images (stickers).

The Unicode Emoji Subcommittee is a subcommittee of the Unicode Technical Committee operating under the Technical Committee Procedures. Current co-chairs are Mark Davis (Google) and Peter Edberg (Apple).

Participation in the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee weekly video/phone meetings and mailing list is open to members of the Unicode Consortium as listed in §13.1 of the Technical Committee Procedures, plus invited guests. Contact us for more information.