Fly Emoji set to bug Unicode in new proposal

A proposal for a fly emoji has been submitted to Unicode, which would add a new flying insect into the standard.
A proposal for a fly emoji has been officially submitted to Unicode.

Submitted by Athena Dang and Justin Bai, the new emoji would join several existing members of the insect world. This includes the bee emoji and butterfly.

The new symbol could be used to show the literal flying insect - but it also could have several other uses. For example, if you are being annoyed by someone - or to indicate something is dirty. It can be also used to represent topics related to decay.

The authors also suggest that the emoji could be sequenced with the pile of poop to describe a particularly smelly occasion. Sequencing with fruit could also indicate the insect is a fruit fly.

The design of the emoji shows a common house fly complete with membranous wings and red eyes. Across the body and legs are several raised hairs.

The document points out that a fly emoji is already present in apps like Viver Messenger. It's expected that usage for this emoji would be high due to how common flies are.

Comparing existing insect emojis shows a fly symbol could see far more use. Google Trend data shows the honey bee, caterpillar and ladybird are all far less searched for than the fly.

But when comparing image searches, the fly is one of the worst performers. In this comparison, it is the ladybird that is the more searched for insect.

Social media interest is also shown to be moderately high - the proposal includes examples of users asking for the emoji. A site called Emoji Request also shows that over 13,000 users have indicated interest in the symbol.

If successful, the fly emoji would join a shortlisted candidates list. Unicode would then vote on which of the list emojis will be suitable for the next emoji release. It's expected the only sticking point of this proposal is that the bee could already represent a flying insect like the fly.
Tom Blackwell 18 Oct 2018

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