Here are the requirements a symbol must meet before it becomes an official emoji

Emojis and EmoticonsiStockA lot of work goes into deciding new emojis.

What makes an emoji?

Those symbols on your phone aren’t just random. They’re actually designed by a consortium of people in the tech industry so there’s a standard any device can read.

The group is called the Unicode Consortium, and although it has historically decided standards for text and punctuation, it has shifted a lot of focus to emojis due to their recent popularity.

According to a profile on the Unicode Consortium in The New York Times, there are a few requirements new emojis must meet before they’re made official, including:

  • Emojis can’t represent living people or deities.
  • Emojis that complete a set, like the upcoming groom emoji that complements the current bride emoji, can get priority.
  • They can’t use intellectual property, so don’t expect to see famous fictional characters in your emoji keyboard. (However, Twitter has done a good job creating branded emojis when you tweet certain hashtags.)
  • A new emoji has to be something the consortium thinks a lot of people will want to use. For example, The New York Times story says a lot of sports emojis are coming next year because of the 2016 Olympics.

Check out the full story in The New York Times to learn more about how those emojis make it to your phone >>

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