The Unicode Technical Committee is meeting this week to discuss all things Unicode. High on the agenda is a much requested feature: redhead emojis.
It’s been almost a year since emojis with multiple skin tones were released, but the lack of even a single redhead emoji is something emoji fans have continued to criticise.
Indeed, a post on the Emojipedia blog highlights that the absence of redhead emojis has been the most frequent complaint from Emojipedia users during the past three months. Similarly, an online campaign from organisers in Scotland to have redheads included in a future emoji update has gained over 21,000 signatures and counting.
Thankfully, a proposal from the Emoji Subcommittee regarding the different options available for representing red hair within the emoji character set will be discussed at the UTC’s meeting this week, which is being hosted by Apple in Sunnyvale, California.
As noted on the Emojipedia blog, the options available include ‘a new “person with red hair” emoji (which would likely come as a man and a woman); right through to custom hair “tags” which could be applied to any existing emoji, such as the runner, dancer, or facepalm.’
The Unicode Technical Committee (UTC) is the group responsible for developing and maintaining the Unicode Standard, the language system used to display information online. Emojis and the emoji character set are part of this language system, and as a result it’s up to the UTC to decide when and how redhead emojis are included.
It’s estimated that around 2% of the world’s population are natural redheads, which is quite a large market of potential redhead emoji users.
The latest Unicode update, Unicode 10.0 will be released in a number of months, so we will have to wait until 2018 at the earliest before any potential redhead emoji is released.