Unicode 9.0 Released With 72 New Emojis

Unicode 9.0 Released With 72 New Emojis

Version 9.0 of the Unicode Standard has today been released, including 72 new emojis such as the shrug, facepalm, fingers crossed and selfie.

Faces, hand gestures, gender pairings[1], animals, food, drinks, and sports are all covered in this update.

Above: Every new emoji in Unicode 9.0.

Our sample images used in this article have been designed in the "Apple style" of emoji to give an idea of how these may look when Apple releases their next emoji update.

Here are all 72 images in glorious high resolution:

Amongst the non-emoji updates included in Unicode 9.0 are support for Adlam, Bhaiksuki, Marchen, Newa, Osage and Tangut scripts. All those details available on the Unicode website.


Always the most popular category of emoji: faces and smileys are a key aspect of any emoji update.

Above: Sample Images for Unicode 9 Faces.

These ten emojis have been primaliy been included for compatibility with messaging applications such as Yahoo Messenger. The following faces are new to Unicode:

Gender Pairs

Four new emojis in Unicode 9.0 have been created to pair with existing single-gender characters.

This is a fairly small list, and pre-dates efforts to provide better gender balance in sports and professions.

These pairs are:

More substantive proposals to increase gender representation in emoji are being actively looked at.


One of the most popular new characters in this update is sure to be the fingers crossed emoji β€” officially named Hand With Index And Middle Fingers Crossed.

This is one of seven new hand gestures available, which also include:

Above: New Hand Gestures in Unicode 9.


Last year, the 🦁 lion emoji was the sleeper hit of the animals. Partly due to the adorably timid face it was given.

This year it's less clear if any will be as popular, however the owl and duck frequently appear in requests to Emojipedia, if that is any indication.

Above: Unicode 9 includes a Fox, Butterfly, Duck, and Owl.

In total there are 13 new animals included in Unicode 9.0:


New foods vary from fruits and vegetables, to full dishes such as paella (named shallow pan of food) and doner kebab (stuffed flatbread) or a green salad.

πŸ‡³πŸ‡Ώ New Zealand may be happy to see the kiwifruit addition, and πŸ‡«πŸ‡· France gets both a croissant and a baguette.


In a similar class to food sits some popular drinks such as milk, whisky (tumbler glass), and a spoon.

Above: New drinks and utensils in Unicode 9.0

Clinking glasses are intended to be displayed as champagne flutes, which accompanies the addition of 🍾 bottle with popping cork which was released as part of Unicode 8.0.

Celebratory emoji characters are used frequently, which may have been a factor in this particular addition.


Sports and activities getting a first-run in this release include a number of Olympic events, non-Olympic sports, as well as one musical addition[2].

Above: A number of Olympic Sports are included in this update.


What's left? An assortment of emojis from transport to symbols.

Black Heart

Black Heart enters a confusing landscape of character names.

Prior to emoji support in Unicode were these two heart symbols:

At the time of their release, color emoji was just a glimmer in Unicode's eye, and "black" simply meant solid / filled in.

When given emoji presentation the above hearts show as red hearts.

Above: Black Heart emoji is really black.

The new U+1F5A4 BLACK HEART character really means it with the black in the name, and is the first true black heart emoji.


Only two candidates were removed from gaining emoji presentation in Unicode 9: modern pentathlon, and rifle.

Due to the late-stage removal, these still made the cut as Unicode characters, but not as emojis.

Last year, the Buddha emoji candidate did not make it to the final release of Unicode 8.0.


One year ago Unicode 8.0 was released with 37 new emojis plus new skin tone modifier capabilities. The net effect of those updates were 285 new emoji images, when each modified emoji is counted.

Above: New Faces from Unicode 8.0 released in mid-2015.

By comparison, Unicode 9.0 includes a larger number of new emojis, but no specific new functionality such as gender or hair color attributes.

Above: Skin tone modifiers were released as part of Unicode 8.0.

Vendor Support

Support for Unicode 9 emojis will be coming to various devices throughout 2016, with some platforms already including these characters in developer preview builds.

Windows 10 is due to support Unicode 9 emojis as part of the Anniversary Update "this summer". Here's how these look in the current Windows Insider release:

Above: Windows 10 Anniversary Update will include new emojis.

Android is also scheduled to support Unicode 9 emojis as part of Android N "this summer".

Above: Android N will also include new emojis.

With World Emoji Day coming up next month, we will have to wait and see which major vendor will take the title for first public rollout of these new emojis.

This could be the first year that Apple is not the first major vendor to support the latest emojis.


Work on Unicode 10.0 has begun, with eight candidates at present. Unicode 10 is due for release in mid-2017.

Gender-related emoji additions are proposing the use of Zero Width Joiner sequences, which means it is possible that these could be released 'out of cycle', prior to Unicode 10.

Above: Potential future releases: Sled, Dumpling, Orange Heart, Face With One Eyebrow Raised are all candidates for Unicode 10 in 2017.

Images: Unicode 9 Sample Images used in this post above are Β© Emojipedia, but please feel very welcome to use on the web with a link to this post, or the relevant page/s on Emojipedia for attribution.

  1. But not these more extensive gender updates. β†©οΈŽ

  2. What do you call someone who hangs out with musicians? A drummer. β†©οΈŽ