The universal set of emoji are “regulated,”for lack of a better term, by the very unsexy- and unfunny- sounding Unicode Consortium, which gives each approved emoji its own universally recognized, unique code. The nonprofit consortium is an alliance of big tech companies,
including Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Facebook and others, that pay an annual fee of s18,000 to vote on characters and other text decisions. Having one central coding depot ensures that devices created by competing companies recognize each other’s text and symbols. Emoji make up just a small percentage of the many text codes issued by the organization. The process of creating new emoji takes about 18 months from start to finish, and anyone can submit applications to the consortium for a new icon, along with the reasoning behind it.