📣 🤝 Handshake Emoji With 25 Skin Tone Options Will Appear On 📱 Devices And Apps Next Year

Written by: Ortega
Modified: मार्च 22, 2022

Our world is constantly evolving. Every day, the population is becoming more and more diverse. If technology is to be a reflection of our society, it must also move forward. That said, it’s good to know more and more emoji have grown to become more multicultural, most especially after Apple and Google suggested the Unicode Consortium add skin tones to their icons in 2014. Unfortunately, one notable exception to this pattern has been the 🤝Handshake emoji. The good news is, that’s about to change.

Hand emojis thumb down and thumb up, stickers in all skin colors, emoticons flat vector illustration symbols set, collection. Like, unlike.

Photo from Adobe Stock


Multi-Skin Toned Handshake Emojis

Handshake emoji, handshake emoji of different skin tones

Photo from Adobe Stock

When Emoji 14.0 is released in 2022, it will include a new handshake character. This character will allow you to customize the skin tones on both the left and right hands, for a total of 25 different combinations.

Isn’t that exciting? For the Unicode Consortium, and the individual who made the 🤝 Handshake emoji, it’s more than just exciting, it’s the culmination of a lot of hard work from a lot of people.

Why is creating a multi-skin toned 🤝 Handshake emoji hard? First, it’s because it requires two people, two different characters to make. This makes it a whole lot harder to do. To accomplish that, Unicode would have to adjust the modifier coding of the already existing skin tone emojis. That is why it took them so long to update their skin tone emojis.

The Unicode Consortium could have updated all their skin tone emojis earlier, including the 🤝 Handshake emoji but a limitation in its modifier coding would have had the hands sharing the same skin tone. So, most platforms preferred to wait until Unicode adjusts the modifier coding, adding support for mixed skin tones.


Creating Skin Tone Emojis

Hand gesture emojis, hand gesture icons, handshake emoji, hand gesture emojis in default yellow

Photo from Adobe Stock

An emoji’s modifier coding is made up of various modifier sequences. A modifier sequence is made when a modifier character is inserted after a supported base emoji character.

In other words, modifier character + supported base emoji character = single emoji with skin tone. That’s for one emoji with one skin tone. Many emojis with multiple skin tones are made up of emoji ZWJ sequences.

ZWJ Sequence

To get what a ZWJ sequence is, you must understand that emojis aren’t always created equal. Some emojis are more than they seem, which isn’t always clear when you look at them. Some are developed behind the scenes by combining multiple emojis.

In any group of emojis, each emoji is held together by an invisible character. The character acts as glue. The effect is an emoji that appears to be a single emoji. The invisible glue character is known as a Zero Width Joiner (ZWJ), and an Emoji ZWJ Series is a set of emojis joined together by the “magical” Zero Width Joiner.

Here are a few popular emoji ZWJ sequences for you to get a better idea of how the process works:

👁‍🗨 = 👁 + 🗨

👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨 = 👱 + ❤️ + 💋 + 👱

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 = 👱 + 👩 + 👧 + 👦

Standardizing Skin Tone Emojis

Once the emoji sequence is created, the color of the emoji is verified to match what’s on the Fitzpatrick scale. All emoji skin tone options are based on the Fitzpatrick scale, a scientific dermatology scale used to calibrate skin color, based on how fast different skin types burn in UV light. This means emoji skin tones have the same color as real skin. Cool to know, right?


Multi-Skin Toned Handshake Emojis In Emoji 14.0

We’ve got Covid-19 to thank for yet another delay in our lives. In 2019, Jennifer Daniel, Google’s emoji creative director, suggested upgrading the 🤝 Handshake emoji for the first time. The Unicode Consortium agreed to include it in Emoji 14.0, and Emoji 14.0, the latest release of the newest emojis, was scheduled to happen in 2021.

However, as with so many things in our lives, the Covid-19 pandemic caused a pause. The good news is, now that things have somewhat returned to normal, the revised, multi-skin-toned 🤝 Handshake emoji should appear on your phone sometime next year.

While we wait for the multi-skin toned 🤝 Handshake emoji to do just that, the 🤝 Handshake emoji with the default yellow emoji skin color is available for use, conveniently, at our disposal.


What Is The Handshake Emoji?

The 🤝 Handshake emoji depicts two palms, each belonging to a different individual, making the handshaking motion.


Meaning Of The Handshake Emoji

The 🤝 Handshake emoji is a virtual version of the real-life gesture of shaking one’s hand. Why do people shake hands? One of the reasons people shake hands when they meet is to show respect or recognition. Shaking hands is a universal ritual that almost everyone engages in. A person does it to acknowledge the presence of another person, or group of people.


History Of The Handshake Emoji

In 2016, the Unicode Consortium approved the 🤝 Handshake emoji and placed it under Unicode 9.0. It was then added to Emoji 3.0 in the same year, in June 2016, to be exact.

72 emojis and 7,500 characters made up Unicode 9.0. Hand gesture emojis like the 🤞 Crossed Fingers emoji, 🤙 Call Me Hand emoji, 🤛 Left Facing Fist emoji, 🤜 Right Facing Fist emoji, and of course, the 🤝 Handshake emoji, were also a part of this list.


Handshake Emoji On Other Platforms

Handshake emoji, Apple version of the Handshake emoji

The 🤝 Handshake emoji will appear slightly different, based on what platform you are accessing it from. As we all know, any web service, social media app, operating system, or device maker is free to design emojis in their own corporate style and vision.

Here’s how the 🤝 Handshake emoji looks on some of the most popular platforms.

Google's version of the Handshake emoji, Handshake emoji handshake emoji twitter

Google’s version is a combination of yellow and orange, while Twitter’s 🤝 Handshake emoji is flatter than the rest, and lighter in color.

Samsung's Handshake emoji, Handshake emoji Handshake emoji, Facebook version of the Handshake emoji

On the other hand, Samsung and Facebook versions are two of the most realistic forms of 🤝 Handshake emoji.

Handshake emoji, Window's Handshake emoji

Finally, Window’s interpretation, like all the other emojis under Windows, appears with thick black borders, angular corners, and a very simplified color palette.


How To Use The Handshake Emoji

– Since I was not able to attend the contract signing in person, kindly allow this to be my form of congratulations 🤝 Congratulations for closing the deal for our department 🤝
– I’m so happy to meet you and have you join our meeting 🤝
– The entire team welcomes you as our client 🤝 We look forward to discussing the details of the event via Zoom.

– I am so sorry for those words! You know I did not mean them. How about a ​💕​🤝​? For old time’s sake? [What it means: Let’s have a truce]
– So many ​🌏​🌎​🌍​🤝 ​in the fight to save our environment. [What it means: Countries are united.]
– The 👫​🤝​ I have with my childhood friend Anna cannot be broken. [What it means: strong friendship]



Millennial guy handshaking smiling girl introducing greeting at group meeting in cafe, happy young people get acquainted hanging together at public place, making new friends, first impression concept

Photo from Adobe Stock

With social distancing rules still in place, body gesture emojis, like the 🤝 Handshake emoji, help us stay connected with people. Loneliness and sadness creep in when we separate from our friends and family. Online communication helps with that.

Keeping in touch with the ones we care about via text messages, email, social media posts, helps us move forward with life, they brighten up our day, they give us hope. Adding emojis to the online content we send out gives it a personal, more special touch. They make our messages more appealing, more heartfelt.


Emoji Skin Diversity

Friendly smiling millennial diverse female colleagues keeping social distance, greeting each other by bumping elbows instead of hugs or handshaking, preventing covid 19 coronavirus infection spread.

Photo from Adobe Stock

What other body gestures do you think the Unicode Consortium should add to the emoji library? How about a pat on the back emoji? Or two elbows bumping against one another? A WHO-recommended replacement for the traditional handshake? Or a socially distanced “hi?”

Hand gestures, hands, hand gestures of different colours

Photo from Adobe Stock

Absolutely, it’s great that Unicode is addressing the demand for more skin tones modified emojis. For the longest time, users all over the world have wanted to see themselves represented on the emoji keyboard. Representation through one’s skin tone, cultural identity, gender identity, etc. Finally, slowly but surely, the Unicode Consortium and the rest of the emoji world are responding to the call.