Emoji are pictographs (pictorial symbols) that are typically presented in a colorful form and used inline in text. They represent things such as faces, weather, vehicles and buildings, food and drink, animals and plants, or icons that represent emotions, feelings, or activities. To the computer they are simply another character, but people send each other billions of emoji everyday to express love, thanks, congratulations, or any number of a growing set of ideas.
The Unicode Consortium solicits proposals from the public for which new emoji should be considered for inclusion in the standard. Here’s a sample of some of the latest emoji to be added:
How Are New Emoji Selected?
The Unicode Emoji Subcommittee regularly reviews proposals for new emoji. The selection criteria are fully defined here, but in essence they boil down to this: a) will the image work at the small size at which emoji are commonly used, b) does the emoji add to what can be said using emoji or can the idea be expressed using existing emoji, c) is there substantial evidence that a large number of people will likely use this new emoji.
Check out this video by TechInsider for a good explanation of the process.