WhatsApp has released new emojis for Android, along with design modifications for its native emoji set.

The latest update means that WhatsApp users on Android now have access to both the 157 new Emoji 11.0 additions from 2018 as well as redesigned versions of previously available emojis.

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Above: A selection of new emojis now available on WhatsApp for Android.

These are the first major updates to the WhatsApp emoji set since its introduction to Android and non-Apple platforms in October of 2017.

Changes in this update actually came as part of two releases:

  • WhatsApp 2.18.379: released mid-December 2018 with new Emoji 11.0 support, and no design changes.
  • WhatsApp 2.19.7: released mid-January 2019 with design changes, and no new emoji support.

Each update was preceded by a beta release one month prior (November 2018 for the new emojis, and December 2018 for design changes) to the final public version.

Details for both December 2018 and January 2019 WhatsApp emoji updates are included in this emoji changelog.

๐Ÿ†• New

WhatsApp now supports all six new smiley emojis from Emoji 11.0: ๐Ÿฅฐ Smiling Face With 3 Hearts, ๐Ÿฅด Woozy Face, ๐Ÿฅต Hot Face, ๐Ÿฅถ Cold Face, ๐Ÿฅบ Pleading Face and ๐Ÿฅณ Partying Face.

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As with Emoji 11.0 updates from other vendors, various hair styles are expected to be quite popular for those seeking more options for self-representation in their emoji keyboard.

The new hair styles are ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿฆฐ Red Haired Man and ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿฆฐ Red Haired Woman, ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿฆฑ Curly Haired Man and ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿฆฑ Curly Haired Woman, ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿฆณ White Haired Man and ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿฆณ Woman, White Haired, and ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿฆฒ Bald Woman and ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿฆฒ Bald Man.

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๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿฆฒ Bald Man is of particular note here, as unlike the other man hair style variants, he is lacking a moustache: perhaps a gesture towards alopecia inclusivity.

These hair styles are created through combining either ๐Ÿ‘จ Man or ๐Ÿ‘ฉ Woman with one of four new "emoji component"[1] code points in what is known as a ZWJ sequence.

Of note, however, is that the new emoji components used to create these hair style emoji (for example ๐Ÿฆฐ Emoji Component Red Hair), are not given graphic representation in WhatApp's design set.[2].

Six new food-related emojis from Emoji 11.0 are also present: ๐Ÿฅญ Mango, ๐Ÿฅฌ Leafy Green, ๐Ÿฅฏ Bagel, ๐Ÿง‚ Salt, ๐Ÿฅฎ Moon Cake, and ๐Ÿง Cupcake.

Perhaps having seen the fuss around Apple's plain bagel emoji, this bagel comes with "everything" seeds and cream cheese included.

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A total of ten new animals[3] are now available in WhatsApp for Android, including ๐Ÿฆข Swan, ๐Ÿฆ™ Llama and ๐Ÿฆ˜ Kangaroo:

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All are rendered full-bodied, as opposed to being represented solely by the animal's face. This is interesting in the case of ๐Ÿฆ Raccoon, as the majority of other vendors instead opt for an image of the mammal's forward-facing head. However, Apple's version of the critter is a full-bodied rendering. It's possible WhatsApp is looking to maintain consistency with Apple in its set, as opposed to matching other vendors.

Also featured within Emoji 11.0 are new ๐Ÿฆธ Superheroes and ๐Ÿฆน Supervillains.

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Above: Women and Men ๐Ÿฆธ Superhero and ๐Ÿฆน Supervillain emojis[4]. All support skin tone modifiers.

Emoji 11.0's other additions include new ๐Ÿฆถ Foot and ๐Ÿฆต Leg body parts, scientific objects such as ๐Ÿงฒ Magnet, some new activity-based objects like the ๐Ÿฅ Lacrosse, as well as other new miscellaneous objects.

All of the new emojis added to WhatsApp can be viewed here.

๐Ÿ†™ Changed

WhatsApp 2.19.7 features a number of updates to emoji designs previously featured on the platform.

The majority of these are very subtle changes: for example, the refinement of the shadows and the lightening of black to charcoal gray throughout the set's color palette[5].

There are, however, several changes that are more obvious upon direct comparison between WhatsApp 2.19.7 and prior releases. One of the most frequent motivators for emoji design modifications is emoji design convergence and increasing the accuracy of the item on the display. Below are a selection of these changes.

๐Ÿคช Zany Face now features a playfully protruding tongue instead of a wide grin, as is the case for most other vendors.

Emojipedia-WhatsApp-2.18-Emoji-Changelog-Zany-Face-1

๐Ÿคฏ Exploding Head now has its mushroom cloud unevenly cracking through the scalp. Previously it emerged via a smaller circular segment in its head.

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๐Ÿ˜‡ Smiling Face With Halo now has the halo tilted to one side.

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๐Ÿ’โ€โ™‚๏ธ Man Tipping Hand and ๐Ÿ’โ€โ™€๏ธ Woman Tipping Hand now feature bigger smiles.

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๐Ÿ– Pig has lost its ear-to-ear smile and the size of the ears have increased.

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๐Ÿบ Wolf Face has redesigned fur and facial features.

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๐Ÿฐ Rabbit Face now has a smaller tooth and no white stripe between its eyes. The eyes have been moved further apart, now sitting at the edge of the curvature of the bunny's face.

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The redesigned packaging of ๐ŸŸ French Fries has the back obscured by taller, slimmer fries.

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๐Ÿ‘— Dress is now purple not pink, and the belt is now purple instead of teal.

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๐Ÿงฅ Coat is now brown, having previously been turquoise.

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๐ŸŒ Full Moon Face and ๐ŸŒš New Moon Face have opened their eyes wider, displaying a less sultry glace than before.

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The tissue of the ๐Ÿง  Brain is now a more pink shade, in keeping with other vendors.

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๐Ÿ‘‚ Ear has been reshaped and includes more detail and shading.

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๐Ÿ‘ƒ Nose has more prominent nostrils.

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The ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ท Flag of Mauritania now has a red stripe at the top and bottom of the design, reflecting a change made to the nation's flag following a referendum in August 2017.

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๐Ÿ“ถ Release

These design changes are now available for Android users in WhatsApp 2.19.7 and above.

Emoji 11.0 additions are available in WhatsApp 2.18.379 and above, but the design changes require the latest release.

WhatsApp for iOS devices continues to use native Apple emoji designs, and no emoji updates are provided at a system-wide level (iOS 12.1 for the same new emojis).

At the time of writing, WhatsApp web has yet to add the updates listed here, but these are expected to roll out to the website in the coming months.


  1. These four emoji codepoints are ๐Ÿฆฐ Emoji Component Red Hair, ๐Ÿฆฑ Emoji Component Curly Hair, ๐Ÿฆณ Emoji Component White Hair and ๐Ÿฆฒ Emoji Component Bald code points. โ†ฉ๏ธŽ

  2. This means that if a user were to attempt to copy this emoji from its Emojipedia page and paste it into a WhatsApp message on an Android device, the symbol will appear as a missing character box. WhatsApp is one of only two major vendors which does not offer a graphic representation of these emoji components: the only other is Twitter. โ†ฉ๏ธŽ

  3. Assuming that you don't count ๐Ÿฆ  Microbe, though some vendors do seem to be placing this miniscule being in their Animals cateogy: for example, the Twitter emoji picker in desktop browsers. โ†ฉ๏ธŽ

  4. When gender is not specified, ๐Ÿฆธ Superhero and ๐Ÿฆน Supervillain appear as ๐Ÿฆธโ€โ™€๏ธ Woman Superhero and ๐Ÿฆนโ€โ™€๏ธ Woman Supervillain respectively. โ†ฉ๏ธŽ

  5. These more suble tweaks can be seen by browsing the "changed" section for this update on Emojipedia.org. โ†ฉ๏ธŽ