Just when you think this epidemic couldn’t possibly postpone or cancel one more thing, that unruly bastard managed to somehow block the simple joy of witnessing a brand new emoji make its internet debut for an entire year. An entire year. Per CNN, the Unicode Consortium—the non-profit that reviews emoji standards and helms the awaited roll-outs each year—there will be no new emojis for the year of 2021. The next release has been pushed back to 2022, when we will hopefully be able to have nice things again.
If you’re wondering how the current pandemic has managed to affect something so far into the future, it all comes down to Consortium, which develops the new Unicode Standard for our little digitized buddies whenever the operating systems on our devices update. Due to the industry-wide upheaval caused by the virus, the non-profit has had to delay its schedule by six months. The shortened window does not give developers—who are already overworked—the time needed to devote to the new slate of graphics, which would typically debut in September.
“Under the current circumstances we’ve heard that our contributors have a lot on their plates at the moment and decided it was in the best interests of our volunteers and the organizations that depend on the standard to push out our release date,” Consortium president Mark Davis explained in a statement. Fortunately for those who look forward to this each year (which is valid, given just how long we had to wait for a decent cheeseburger emoji), the delay does not impact this year’s promised roll-out, which will include 117 new characters. But if we have to wait just a little longer for the sorely needed smoothie bowl or Baby Yoda emojis, that’s fine. Mildly entertaining things come to those who are forced to wait.