Last week the transgender flag climbed to the top of the emoji agenda, but the news has already been eclipsed by the discovery of several new gender-related symbols.
Uncovered by WABetaInfo, the new icons comprise of the Mars and Venus symbols representing men and women, alongside the ‘male with stroke and male and female sign’ that’s commonly used to represent those in the transgender community.
The news comes as the transgender flag emoji finally made an appearance on WhatsApp for the first time following the roll out of the app’s 2.19.73 beta update.
This means the emojis can now be accessed directly – rather than copying and pasting from the web or inserting a series of symbols.The reasons why the messaging app chose to include the symbol remain unknown, however, it marks the end of an approval battle dating back to 2017.
The secret meanings behind the new emojis
The emoji-verse is overseen by Unicode, the organisation that sets out a ‘standard’ containing every emoji that’s currently in use. Although the symbol is yet to be formally recognised by the organisation, according to Emojipedia WhatsApp “has used the ‘wiggle room’ in the Unicode Standard to create its own emoji.” If Unicode does approve the transgender flag symbol, it won't be until at least 2020 at the earliest. The 2.19.73 beta update also includes a taste of what’s to come from the app in the coming months, as developers tease an option that will allow users to search the web for images they have received in their chats. WhatsApp’s latest update coincides with the roll out of Android’s own beta programme which allows developers to familiarise themselves with the new changes implemented by Google ahead of Android Q’s launch in August. New features in coming in Android Q include dark mode, deep depth image processing in photos taken within apps, and more control of the sharing of location data. Subscribe to Women Tech Charge, a new podcast from the Evening Standard. From fashion to finance, technology is revolutionising our lives. Meet the extraordinary women who are leading the charge. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. More about: | Whatsapp | Emoji | Android