BUENOS AIRES – The Unicode Consortium has approved the second phase of an initiative aimed at incorporating an icon depicting yerba mate, the flagship drink of many Latin American countries, into the emoji roster.
The organization, which is tasked with the annual selection of the emojis to hit digital screens worldwide, on May 9 green-lit the second stage of the initiative proposed by Florencia Coelho, Daniela Guini, Martin Zalucki, Emiliano Panelli and Santiago Nasra.
The five proponents picked the emblem from among various regional icons, such as the “choripan” or “asado” – a type of sandwich and a kind of barbecue, respectively.
The documentation attached to the proposal explains in detail the origins of the drink and analyzes statistical data regarding its consumption, not only in various Latin American countries, such as Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Brazil, but also in Syria, the world’s main exporter of yerba mate.
“It was the most-liked icon in surveys, because it represents not only Argentina, but also many other countries,” Guini said, adding that Latin influence has also promped its consumption in many European nations.
Invited by Jennifer Lee – an emoji expert from the United States whom the team met at the 2017 Media Party in Buenos Aires this past September –, Coelho and Guini presented the initiative in Silicon Valley to a judging panel of 30 people.
The verdict will not be known until late 2018, but, if approved, the icon is expected to hit social media in either the first or second quarter of 2019.