Texts and SMS messages just moved beyond the generic smiley face. Unicode announced this week that it has expanded its library of emojis by 250 — including some long-awaited multicultural faces.
Apple apologized earlier this year for not having more non-caucasian emojis, saying it was working with Unicode to "update the standard." The new emojis will include other races with both white and black hands pointing in various directions.
The new emojis also include an attempt at religious variety, including Celtic and Latin crosses, an om symbol and a dove. Unicode also made script enhancements to further multicultural backgrounds, as the Guardian reported, including symbols like the Russian ruble and "lesser-used historic scripts" from places like Africa and India.
But not all the emoji additions are completely wholesome: one new arrival is an extended middle finger.
However, as the Independent reported, parents shouldn't be too concerned yet, since individual companies like Apple and Google will choose which emojis are included or not — and how to change them.
"Although the latest Unicode 7.0 standard includes a place set aside for a 'Man In Business Suit Levitating' emoji, it’s up to Google and Apple to decide how far that man is levitating above the ground when you use it on a smartphone — or what race he is," Independent writer James Vincent stated. "Unicode itself says only that this is a 'long, formal process' where characters under consideration 'must be in widespread use, as textual elements.’ ”