11 Points

The 38 New Emoji Ranked by Usefulness
written by Sam Greenspan

Last week, the Unicode Consortium -- a governing body of Internet standards that now seems to mainly focus on whether the world has enough different variations of smiley faces -- announced 38 new emoji to be officially added to the current set of 800ish next year. This, of course, is Big News, as emoji continue their Godzilla-like march to transform language back into hieroglyphics.

I ranked all 38 of the new emoji based on their usefulness. (Note: The images below are not the official emoji, they're just stand-ins that people have either mocked up or that lived in the AIM universe.) Here are my predictions...
  1. Face palm

    "Face palm" is a ubiquitous term of the past several years; this emoji should come in handy whenever someone spots something mind-bogglingly stupid on the Internet. In other words, constantly.

  2. Shrug

    People have been jonesing for a shrug emoji so badly that they resort to using an ASCII one: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. It's 2015. We shouldn't have to use an ASCII anything.

  3. Rolling on the floor laughing face

    Generally when people want to express that they find something funny on Instagram and such, they use the "smiling while crying" emoji. This is a slightly more on-the-nose alternative.

  4. Bacon

    Bacon has been the most requested food emoji (other than perhaps a taco), so this is long overdue and certain to get a lot of play, even if -- I can't believe I'm about to write this -- the whole bacon obsession thing has jumped the shark.

  5. Nauseated face

    I thought this one already existed because it seems so basic and perfunctory.

  6. Stop sign

    Technically this is described as "octagon sign," but it'll be used as a a stop sign. And since telling someone to "STOP" is such a huge part of Internet discourse, it should be all over the place.

  7. Selfie

    I would assume this emoji will accompany many a posted selfie. So until taking photos of yourself stops being so fashionable, it should come up nonstop.

  8. Drooling face

    The standard response to a food picture could become the drooling face. (Thankfully replacing the word "nom," which will now be stricken from the record and never spoken of again.)

  9. Clown face

    People are always looking for new ways to say they're playful -- it's easier than doing playful things that speak for themselves -- thus the clown face.

  10. Eagle

    American holidays will feature eagle emoji galore. As will the Philadelphia Eagles making a Super Bowl run. So, yeah, American holidays.

  11. Lying face

    About 55 percent of text messages contain at least one lie*, and the lying face emoji should come up when someone gets caught. (* - statistic is not intended to be a factual statement)

  12. Fingers crossed

    This should make a cameo in lots of "wish me luck, fingers crossed" Facebook posts. Now you can respond with the fingers crossed emoji rather than writing, "Good luck" as, in either case, you hope deep down the person fails.

  13. Raised back of hand

    I'm surprised this one was included, but if we've got it, people are going to use it. Threatening to slap people? That comes up quite a bit on social media.

  14. Clinking glasses

    I'm not sure this was totally necessary since we've already got the clinking beer mugs, but it could work for slightly bougier occasions.

  15. Cucumber

    If the popularity of the eggplant emoji has taught us anything, it's that phallic symbols will always have a spot on the charts.

  16. Pregnant lady

    Not only is it great for all those pregnant women and their friends, it's also great for cyberbullying the overweight! Bad news for society, good news for this emoji's usage.

  17. Handshake

    I can't wait for the day when two people go to court over whether the handshake emoji is legally binding.

  18. Shark

    I picked this over a lot of the other animals because Shark Week and Sharknado should bring it out in full force.

  19. Black heart

    When someone gets dumped with a text message or a tweet -- which is how people do it these days -- a black heart seems like a suitable response.

  20. Bat

    If they make it look like the Batman bat symbol, it could get a decent amount of play. If it's just a cute cartoon bat, I fail to see its viability.

  21. Man dancing

    Perhaps useful when watching dancing TV shows or old John Travolta movies? Otherwise I can't see this coming up that frequently.

  22. Croissant

    This can accompany the text "Brunch?" So, ya know, it'll probably be ignored by your sleeping friends.

  23. Wilted flower

    Much like the cucumber, this has a nice phallic implication -- in fact, I'm not sure it has any OTHER implication. (Well, maybe yelling at 1-800-Flowers when they botch an order.)

  24. Potato

    We already have a French fry emoji, we don't really need its non-fried ancestor, do we?

  25. Face with cowboy hat

    The country music scene could use this one from time to time, but that's still infrequent enough and niche enough to land it this low on the list.

  26. Man in tuxedo

    It has uses when someone attends a black tie event or when a James Bond movie comes out -- but these days, both of those have fallen a bit out of favor.

  27. Fox face

    Maybe this'll come up when people talk about Fox News?

  28. Carrot

    Now we're getting into the ones that just aren't going to come up very often at all. No one really needs a carrot emoji, but maybe it can accompany the diamond ring one as a stand-in for carats?

  29. Prince

    It will get a lot more play if they make it look like Prince circa Purple Rain.

  30. Scooter

    This feels like one of the many useless transportation emoji we already have, like the mountain cable car. Why would anyone need to send someone a picture of a scooter?

  31. Avocado

    Avocado is a lovely food, but I can't really see an occasion where you'd need to text about it.

  32. Duck

    A fine, cute animal but there are already plenty of fine, cute animal emoji -- animals we encounter far more often.

  33. Owl

    On that note, other than occasionally hearing an owl -- or writing an all-emoji translation of Harry Potter -- when will this be used?

  34. Right facing fist

    Perhaps for a fist bump? Or something deviant?

  35. Left facing fist

    I know I've ranked this low, but it COULD be one spot higher, just above the right facing fist. Totally arbitrary between those two.

  36. Motor scooter

    Even more useless than the non-motorized scooter. Although websites in the People of Walmart genre might get a little mileage out of it.

  37. Mother Christmas

    She's not exactly an iconic (or even semi-iconic) character. I don't see people using this one ever, even around Christmas.

  38. Call me hand

    This joins the CD emoji, fax machine emoji, video cassette emoji and minidisc emoji as "antiquated on arrival."


This post was originally published on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Web & Tech.

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