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Only 31 new emoji are going to be encoded this year


A moose, a blackbird, a goose and a jellyfish are just a few of the new emoji you can expect to find on your phone later this year.


Juana, don't forget the shaking face.

SUMMERS: (Laughter).

JENNIFER DANIEL: You really could not express being shook until shake face. It also is fairly apt for those situations when you are experiencing either a literal earthquake or a metaphorical one, or perhaps you're just shaking your head back and forth.

SHAPIRO: Jennifer Daniel chairs the Emoji Subcommittee at the Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit that approves new emojis. Daniel says another new entry bound to set texters hearts aflutter is the plain pink heart.

DANIEL: The pink heart is one of those kinds of emojis that you think has already been there, surely. Surely there has been a pink heart all this time. But no, there has not until today.

SUMMERS: Really? In total, the Unicode Consortium proposed just 31 new emoji this year, 10 times fewer than the number approved just a few years ago. And Daniel says there's a reason why.

DANIEL: When Unicode first started to encode emoji, there were only about 700 concepts in your keyboard. And if you flash-forward to today, there's way over 3,000 of these tiny glyphs at your fingertips. What this means is it requires us to review proposals in a way that maybe we didn't have to do in the earlier days. The criteria for inclusion is much higher.

SHAPIRO: So how many emojis are too many, we asked?

DANIEL: When is a garden done growing?

SHAPIRO: Well, there is a tulip emoji.

SUMMERS: A rose.

SHAPIRO: A sunflower.

SUMMERS: A seedling.

SHAPIRO: We might almost be there. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Ari Shapiro
Ari Shapiro has been one of the hosts of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine, since 2015. During his first two years on the program, listenership to All Things Considered grew at an unprecedented rate, with more people tuning in during a typical quarter-hour than any other program on the radio.
Juana Summers
Juana Summers is a co-host of NPR's All Things Considered, alongside Ailsa Chang, Ari Shapiro and Mary Louise Kelly. She joined All Things Considered in June 2022.
Taylor Hutchison