Emojis are about to become racially diverse.

A proposal by the Unicode Consortium, the body that sets the standards for characters, including emoji, has released a new report that proposes to include new skin tone modifier characters that will create up to 755 new racially diverse emoji with different skin colors.

The proposal, which was edited by Apple and Google engineers, will be implemented along with the next major update of the Unicode standard when it rolls out in the middle of next year.

Emoji diversity will be fueled by including different skin tone swatches, which Unicode says is based on the Fitzpatrick scale of skin tones, an internationally accepted dermatological standard in determining skin tones. These range from Skin Type I (pale white skin) to Skin Type VI (deeply pigmented dark brown to black skin), with various shades of brown in between.

Unicode only makes the standards but leaves the implementation to the software makers, Apple and Google, letting them decide whether users will long-press an emoji to bring up different skin tone choices or scroll down through a very long list of differently colored human emoji.

The proposal also covers yellow neutral smiley faces, hand symbols, body parts and multiple-person emoji, such as COUPLE WITH HEART.

"People all over the world want to have emoji that reflects more human diversity, especially for skin tone," says Unicode in its report. "The Unicode emoji characters for people and body parts are meant to be generic, yet following the precedents set by the original Japanese carrier images, they are often shown with a light skin tone instead of a more generic (inhuman) appearance, such as yellow/orange color or a silhouette."

The consortium says it is well aware of the fact that "there are many other types of diversity in human appearance besides different skin tones: different hairstyles and color, use of eyeglasses, various kinds of facial hair, different body shapes, different headwear, and so on."

Unicode, however. cannot provide its own encoding-based mechanism to support all kinds of diversity, which is why one of its longer-term solutions is to create the ability to include embedded graphics.

Embedded graphics, or custom emoji character sets, will potentially allow users to send and receive the same emoji while using different platforms and apps. Currently, emoji use is in a state of disparity; software makers design their own emoji characters.

A smiley face sent from a Nexus 6, for example, looks very different from what appears on an iPhone 6 Plus. Embedded graphics are, for now, a long way off, however, and Unicode is taking baby steps to addressing diversity in a slowly growing communication tool.

In America, around 74 percent of all users of messaging apps have used emoji at some point and 35 percent use emoji every day.

However, we won't be able to use racially diverse emoji anytime soon, given the rate at which companies adopt updated Unicode standards. Unicode 7.0, for instance, was released in June but has not been adopted by many software vendors. If Unicode releases Unicode 8.0 next year, it could well be 2016 before we start sending those diversely colored human emoji.

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