Unicode 8.0 was announced for 2015, and the updates that would come along with it surprised some, and made others applaud. The latest update, which is still months away, and is far from certain to be adopted by the major operating systems, like Android or iOS.
The Unicode Consortium is the group behind the update that would address racial diversity within the emoji standards across platforms that opted to adopt the new code. Currently, just basic colors, like a pale-white skin color, and yellow are available on most platforms. However, major portions of the human population remain unrepresented amongst the emoji’s. For the Unicode Consortium, this was an issue worth identifying, and even worth proposing an update to amend.
Now, even though the Unicode 8.0 is far from available and is still being worked on, to come into production, a template has been created. Meaning, coding has been generically produced to explain possibly how the group might go about executing racially diverse emoji’s.
Six different skin tones were proposed, ranging in color strength, and working to represent a more globally diverse population. However, the code will not bring in new emoji’s, but rather modify existing emoji’s. That means users could long-press one emoji and then be given the choice to choose a specific color tone to give that emoji.
The change is one that would be widely-accepted amongst users if operating systems supported the changes, but that should not be expected overnight. As it currently sits, it would require companies like Apple and Google to create new, or update existing operating systems in order to support the new emoji’s. Remember, right now Unicode 7.0 which was announced in June still hasn’t been adopted by many operators globally and is relatively unused on a large scale.
That means users could be waiting well into 2016 before widespread use or change is seen on the emoji front. That said, the actual update is still in the very early stages of development, and still hasn’t even been physically implemented yet. However, this update would definitely be one that would bring a much-needed update to an emoji landscape that has become stale over the years.