WhatsApp 2.21.16.20 Emoji Changelog

WhatsApp 2.21.16.20 Emoji Changelog

WhatsApp for Android's 2.21.16.20 release provided partial support for emojis from late 2020, such as Face in Clouds, Mending Heart, and Heart on Fire. The update did not, however, include the gender-specific Bearded Man or the various Kiss and Couple emoji combinations also recommended alongside these new additions.

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Above: all of the new emojis featured in WhatsApp 2.21.16.20. Image: WhatsApp designs / Emojipedia composite.

All of the new emojis included in WhatsApp 2.21.16.20 are from Unicode's Emoji 13.1 recommendations, put forward in September 2020.

In addition to the new emojis in WhatsApp 2.21.16.20, several months ago WhatsApp released an update including a single new emoji: the Refugee Nation Flag. This new flag emoji was introduced as a zero width joiner (ZWJ) sequence using the ๐Ÿณ๏ธ White Flag, ๐ŸŸง Orange Square, and โฌ› Black Large Square emojis.

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Above: the new Refugee Nation Flag as it is constructed in WhatsApp 2.21.11.17 onwards.

As we previously discussed following its appearance in a WhatsApp beta release, this new flag emoji is not currently recommended for general interchange (RGI) by the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee and as such is only presently available on WhatsApp for both iOS and Android devices.

๐Ÿ†• New

Amongst the new emojis included in this update are three smiley emojis: ๐Ÿ˜ฎโ€๐Ÿ’จ Face Exhaling, ๐Ÿ˜ตโ€๐Ÿ’ซ Face with Spiral Eyes, and ๐Ÿ˜ถโ€๐ŸŒซ๏ธ Face in Clouds.

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Additionally, two new heart emojis are included: โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ”ฅ Heart on Fire and โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿฉน Mending Heart. The โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ”ฅ Heart on Fire was the Most Popular New Emoji in this year's World Emoji Awards.

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WhatsApp also introduces a single gender-specifying variant of ๐Ÿง” Person: Beard: ๐Ÿง”โ€โ™€๏ธ Woman: Beard.

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Oddly, this update did not introduce Emoji 13.1's other gender-specifying ๐Ÿง”โ€โ™‚๏ธ Man: Beard variant, despite also updating the design of ๐Ÿง” Person: Beard to be more gender-inclusive.

In implementing Emoji 13.1, other vendors simply swapped their previous designs for ๐Ÿง” Person: Beard to be that of ๐Ÿง”โ€โ™‚๏ธ Man: Beard.

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Above: the previously gendered designs for ๐Ÿง” Person: Beard, which may eventually be used to represent ๐Ÿง”โ€โ™‚๏ธ Man: Beard in a future WhatsApp update.

However, this solution has not yet been introduced for WhatsApp, with the ๐Ÿง”โ€โ™‚๏ธ Man: Beard emoji and its skin tone variants displaying as their constituent parts: ๐Ÿง” Person: Beard, skin tone modifier or not, with the โ™‚๏ธ Male Sign alongside them.

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Above: how the ๐Ÿง”โ€โ™‚๏ธ Man: Beard emojis appear within WhatsApp 2.21.11.17 messages and search function.

The variations of both the ๐Ÿ’ Kiss and ๐Ÿ’‘ Couple with Heart emojis recommended in Emoji 13.1 also render as their components within WhatsApp 2.21.11.17.

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Above: a selection of the ๐Ÿ’ Kiss from the Emoji 13.1 recommendations as they appear in WhatsApp 2.21.11.17.

It is expected that WhatsApp will introduce the ๐Ÿง”โ€โ™‚๏ธ Man: Beard variations and the 200 different ๐Ÿ’ Kiss and ๐Ÿ’‘ Couple with Heart emojis in a future update.

๐Ÿ†™ Changed

๐Ÿง” Person: Beard now has a gender-inclusive appearance, in keeping with recent changes to other emojis which don't specify a gender.

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๐Ÿปโ€โ„๏ธ Polar Bear now displays the bear's head in isolation, as per other vendors.

Emojipedia-Changelog-Comparison-WhatsApp-Emoji-13_1-Polar-Bear-Emoji-1

๐Ÿชฐ Fly has thicker prothoracic and mesothoracic legs.

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๐Ÿช’ Razor is now a safety razor instead of a straight razor.

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๐Ÿฉน Adhesive Bandage is now white instead of brown.

Emojipedia-Changelog-Comparison-WhatsApp-Emoji-13_1-Bandage-Emoji

๐Ÿฉฒ Briefs now show blue and white striped underwear instead of tighty-whities.

Emojipedia-Changelog-Comparison-WhatsApp-Emoji-13_1-Briefs-Emoji

๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Flag: Hong Kong SAR China has had its bauhinia petals reshaped, with their central stars reduced in size.

Emojipedia-Changelog-Comparison-WhatsApp-Emoji-13_1-Hong-Kong-Flag-Emoji

โธ๏ธ Not Changed

Interestingly, despite the 2.21.16.20 update redesigning several emojis, WhatsApp's ๐Ÿ’‰ Syringe emoji design was not amongst them.

This means that, thus far, WhatsApp has not joined the likes of Apple, Google, and Twitter in changing their ๐Ÿ’‰ Syringe to remove its bloody contents and droplets, making it more appropriate for representing vaccination.

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Above: the current designs of the ๐Ÿ’‰ Syringe emoji across different emoji vendors.

๐Ÿ“ถ Release

The new emojis from 2020's Emoji 13.1 are now available for Android users when the app updates to WhatsApp 2.21.16.20 or above.

WhatsApp 2.21.11.17, which included the ๐Ÿณโ€๐ŸŸงโ€โฌ›โ€๐ŸŸง Refugee Nation Flag, was available for users from early June 2021.

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

๐Ÿ“– Read More