WhatsApp Emoji Changelog

WhatsApp Emoji Changelog

The latest version of WhatsApp for Android includes new emojis such as Smiling Face with Tear and Pinched Fingers.

This follows an update in recent months where support was provided new gender neutral emoji support.


Above: all of the new emojis featured in WhatsApp Image: WhatsApp designs / Emojipedia composite.


Above: all of the emojis that were made available in WhatsApp earlier this year. Image: WhatsApp designs / Emojipedia composite.

The most recent of these two updates, WhatsApp, began its rollout in early December 2020. The earlier update, WhatsApp, was accessible to WhatsApp users on Android devices from early September 2020.

The emojis in this update have been released in recent months on iOS and on Android phones from Samsung and others. WhatsApp for Android eschews the system-wide emojis usually provided by Google or Samsung, and implements its own designs, shown here.

πŸ†• New in WhatsApp

The 115 new emojis included in WhatsApp were taken from Unicode's Emoji 13.0 recommendations. While Emoji 13.0 included 117 new designs, WhatsApp had already provided support for the πŸ³οΈβ€βš§οΈ Transgender Flag and ⚧️ Transgender Symbol.

Within the πŸ˜ƒ Smileys & People category of emojis we have two new smiley emojis, a single new gesture emoji, two new anatomy-based emojis, and eight new people emojis.


Above: a selection of the new πŸ˜ƒ Smileys & People emojis included within in WhatsApp

The update also features 12 new animal emojis, 8 new food and drink emojis, and an additional 30 emojis that can be placed within the broad categories of nature, objects, and symbols.


Users may notice some divergence in the appearance of new emojis. Some appear more closely aligned to Samsung's emoji set, while others are closer to Apple's design choices.

Traditionally, WhatsApp emojis have been more aligned with Apple's choices than those from Google, and that (mostly) continues in this release.

Above: Comparison of new emojis on WhatsApp compared to Samsung, Google, and Apple. Image: Vendors / Emojipedia composite.

πŸ†• New in WhatsApp

The 138 new emojis included in the WhatsApp were all new gender neutral versions of people with skin tone modifier variants.


Above: a selection of the new gender neutral emojis that debuted in WhatsApp

πŸ™† Not Included

Not all of Emoji 12.1 has been implemented in WhatsApp to date.

Specifically, 30 additional variants of the πŸ§‘β€πŸ€β€πŸ§‘ People Holding Hands, πŸ‘­ Women Holding Hands, and πŸ‘¬ Men Holding Hands emojis recommended for inclusion in Emoji 12.1 remain absent in WhatsApp


Above: the WhatsApp emoji keyboard on Android, with πŸ‘­ Women Holding Hands selected.

From an interface perspective, only shared skin tone combinations (where both people have the same skin tone) are available from the WhatsApp emoji keyboard, even though the app does support many of the mixed skin tone options.

Additionally, πŸ§‘β€πŸ€β€πŸ§‘ People Holding Hands does not appear as an option on the WhatsApp emoji keyboard, despite it being supported via copy and paste or if sent in a message.

πŸ†™ Changes

A total of 12 previously released emoji designs were revised in the WhatsApp update: namely πŸ‘° Person With Veil, 🀡 Person in Tuxedo, and their skin tone variants.

πŸ‘° Person With Veil has a new gender-inclusive appearance, making way for the new gender-specific options in this release.


🀡 Person in Tuxedo has a new gender-inclusive appearance, making way for the new gender-specific options in this release.


No previously released designs were updated in WhatsApp

πŸ“Ά Release

These new emoji designs are now available for Android users when the app updates to WhatsApp or above. For most users this will have taken place on December 3, 2020. WhatsApp which contained some of these earlier updates hit most Android phones in September 2020.

Users of iOS devices will continue to see native Apple emoji designs which are provided by the operating system.