WhatsApp has been testing the new emoji introduced as part of Unicode 9.0 since early December. The beta test is now over and they are rolling out (as spotted by Android Police) a score of new emoji to users today.
These are the same emoji added as part of Android 6.0.1. However, a large majority of users have yet to receive the latest version of Android. As such, their addition in version 2.12.441 of WhatsApp will be greatly appreciated. Like in Android 6.0.1, the emoji panel in WhatsApp has since been reorganized into new categories for easier accessibility.
For better or worse, these emoji are more like Apple’s take on emoji as they’re less bulbous in appearance. They include a middle finger, upside down face, a more complete set of flags from around the world, and many more.
WhatsApp recently announced that it has a billion active monthly users. Their adoption will only skyrocket as they announced last month that there will no longer be an annual subscription fee to use the app. The update is slowly rolling out to users starting today.