Emoticons (Unicode block)
Emoticons is a Unicode block containing emoticons or emoji. Most of them are intended as representations of faces, although some of them include hand gestures or non-human characters (a horned "imp", monkeys, cartoon cats).
The block was first proposed in 2008, and first implemented in Unicode version 6.0 (2010). The reason for its adoption was largely for compatibility with a de facto standard that had been established by the early 2000s by Japanese telephone carriers, encoded in unused ranges with lead bytes 0xF5 to 0xF9 of the Shift JIS standard. KDDI has gone much further than this, and has introduced hundreds more in the space with lead bytes 0xF3 and 0xF4.
If there is no variation selector appended, the default is the emoji-style. Example:
The Miscellaneous Symbols and Pictographs block has 52 emoji that represent people or body parts. A set of "Emoji modifiers" are defined for emojis that represent people or body parts. These are modifier characters intended to define the skin colour to be used for the emoji. The draft document suggesting the introduction of this system for the representation of "human diversity" was submitted in 2015 by Mark Davis of Google and Peter Edberg of Apple Inc. Five symbol modifier characters were added with Unicode 8.0 to provide a range of skin tones for human emoji. These modifiers are called EMOJI MODIFIER FITZPATRICK TYPE-1-2, -3, -4, -5, and -6 (U+1F3FB–U+1F3FF): 🏻 🏼 🏽 🏾 🏿. They are based on the Fitzpatrick scale for classifying human skin color.
The following Unicode-related documents record the purpose and process of defining specific characters in the Emoticons block: