Happy World Emoji Day, everyone! Today, the Unicode Consortium officially announced a brand new way to make proposing new emoji easier than before. Available at Unicode.org, the revamped website also offers emoji enthusiasts the chance to “adopt a character”.

There are 136,000+ emoji characters available for adoption.

If you adopt one, you’ll get a custom digital badge that can be embedded on your website, in emails and instant messages, social media posts and so forth. Adoption fees start at $100 per character and go all the way up to $5,000 for Gold sponsorship. The Unicode Consortium says it’s a 501(c)(3) charitable organization so any adoption fees are tax-deductible in the US.

The redesigned website makes details about the emoji proposal process more easily accessible whilst encouraging public participation and engagement in all Unicode projects.

Unicode board member Greg Welch was quoted as saying:

Unicode is a global technology standard that is one of the core building blocks of the Internet. Unicode has helped facilitate the work of programmers and linguists from around the world since the 1990s. But with the rise of mobile devices and public enthusiasm for emoji, we knew it was time to redesign the Unicode website to make information more easily accessible and increase community involvement.

By opening up emoji proposals, the non-profit organization is hoping to make the whole process way more accessible and understandable and at the same time engage the public in its work. A team of designers from Adobe provided design and branding support, as well as free access to leading design tools, to bring Unicode’s new website to life.

Apple yesterday previewed 59 new emoji designs based on the approved characters in Unicode 12.0, including the sloth, the sea otter, the waffle and Saturn, which are slated to come to iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch this fall via free OS updates.

There’s no doubt that emoji have become a cultural phenomenon, with a whopping 92 percent of the world’s online population using emoji characters to spice up their chats, emails, etc. Per Adobe’s first-ever Emoji Trend report based on a survey of a thousand emoji users in the US, these lively characters bring joy, bridge barriers and encourage the sharing of ideas.

The report found that a majority of emoji users, some 81 percent of them, believe that folks who use emoji are friendlier and more approachable. And when asked about emoji’s greatest benefits, a majority of surveyed people singled out the ability to communicate across language barriers (94 percent) and instantly share thoughts and ideas (90 percent).

For other interesting findings, check out a summary of the report on the Adobe blogs.