Unicode last night announced the beta version of next year's emoji release.
Unfortunately, the proposed emoji that caused a controversy within the Unicode Consortium – the frowning pile of poo – didn't make the cut for next year. The list isn't finalized yet (it'll be in early 2018), but I already see the party face emoji as a potential new favorite.
Also worth noting: there's a proposal to add support for changing the direction of emoji. If accepted, I wonder if Apple could add a "direction picker" to the existing emoji skin tone menu.