You may not know what Unicode is, but you use it every day. In short, it's a standard, developed by an independent body, for determining and encoding the set of characters expressed in digital form. In other words, it's a standard list of all the characters we use on computers and smartphones and set top boxes and virtually everything digital. It tells you which charcter number is that "n with the wavy line on it", or ñ (and every other chracter).
The Unicode Consortium just released Unicode 7.0, a major update to the standard character list. It adds 2,834 new characters, including currency symbols for the Russian ruble and Azerbaijani manat and lots of other things to help support more languages.
But you don't care about that. You care about Emoji, the pictographic symbols that saturate the texts of everyone under 30. And Unicode 7.0 adds about 250 of them, including "reversed hand with middle finger extended", "prohibited sign", and "raised hand with part between middle and ring fingers." Yes, you can now flip someone off and tell them to live long and prosper with your Emoji.
Of course, you won't see these right away. The new characters have to be incorporated into keyboard software, which means updates to keyboard apps and operating systems. And of course, the person on the receiving end has to have Unicode 7.0 support or they'll just see some random garbage instead of the intended characters. With 2,800+ characters to support, Unicode 7.0 support will take a little time to implement. With any luck, major OS releases expected this year (Android Lollipop, iOS 8.0) will support the standard, and we'll all be communicated with an even greater number of annoying pictures in time for the holidays.
The Washington Post has compiled a list of all the new Emoji found in the Unicode 7.0 spec.