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Online Trends

Published July 14th 2023

7 Fun Facts About Emojis in 2023

Emojis have become a universal way to communicate for consumers and brands alike.

In celebration of World Emoji Day 2023 on 17 July, we looked at the most popular emojis of the year so far and the differences in how they’re used between consumers and brands.

For this post, we tracked and analyzed online emojis use between January 1 - June 30 2023 using Brandwatch Consumer Research.

Fact #1: The use of emojis is up 30% from 2022

The use of emojis is growing. Our analysis showed that between January 1 - June 30 2023, emojis received 7.5b mentions, a 30% increase from the previous six-month period. 

We looked at the top 10 most used emojis, and how the volume of mentions around them has changed since 2022.

How has the use of these emojis changed in the last six months? We analyzed mentions for the top 10 most used emojis in the first six months of 2023 and compared them to July 1 - December 31 2022.

While all 10 emojis grew by volume of mentions, 🔗, 👇, and 🚨 saw the highest growth, representing an increase of 155%, 154%, and 93% respectively.

Fact #2: Japan dominates the use of emojis in 2023

We looked at the volume of emoji mentions per country, and with close to 526m mentions, Japan leads the top-five list.

In fact, users in Japan shared 13% more emojis than those located in the second-most popular country on the top-five list, the United States.

Fact #3: 😭 is the internet’s favorite emoji

We collected online mentions in conversations with “my” and “favorite emoji.”

Even though 😭 has recently been added to the “canceled” emoji list, this emoji landed the #1 spot on our list of favorite emojis. 

Last year (between July 1 - December 31 2022), the loudly crying face emoji placed second after 🤭, the face with hand over mouth, followed by 😂, the face with tears of joy.

Despite being recently deemed as uncool by Gen Z, who declared that those using the laugh-cry emoji (😂) are “out of touch,” this emoji made it to the #4 spot on our list.

Fact #4: The sentiment around 👍 is deteriorating

 A recent article in the New York Post went out under the headline, “Gen Z canceled the ‘hostile’ thumbs-up emoji.” A Daily Mail post shared this sentiment by adding that the thumbs-up emoji makes users look old. 

Our top five favorite emojis chart resonates with both articles, showing very negative sentiment associated with the thumbs-up emoji (👍). 

We tracked sentiment around the thumbs-up emoji (👍) in online conversations in the first half of 2023 compared to the previous six-month period.

Looking at the graph, while the volume of neutral and positive mentions relating to 👍 is significantly higher, the volume of negative mentions increased by 88% during the six-month period studied compared to the previous period.

Fact #5: 58% of men tweet with emojis vs 42% of women 

We looked at the demographic data, and there are some differences in how men and women use emojis.

When looking at the author gender split, 42% of women used emojis in their tweets in the first half of 2023 compared to 58% of men.

We also analyzed the sentiment in emoji-related conversations among women and men.

Brandwatch data shows that men posted higher volumes of negative mentions involving emojis compared to women, with 22% of all sentiment-categorized mentions being negative.

Fact #6: Emojis across generations

Using Social Panels, we dove into the data to understand emoji use across generations, and it’s mixed.

  • Baby boomers and Gen X shared the same pattern of using emojis, with 😂, 🤣, ❤️being the top three.
  • The laugh-cry emoji (😂) also landed the #1 spot among Millennials, followed by the loudly crying-face emoji (😭) and the rolling on the floor laughing emoji (🤣). 
  • Gen Zers used 😭 in conversations the most, followed by 😂 and sparkles (✨). 

It’s important to note that different emojis may carry a different meaning among each generation and target your messaging accordingly.

Fact #7: 🔥 and ✨ are the most used emojis among brands and consumers respectively

Using Consumer Research, we examined Twitter accounts of individuals and organizations that have a following of over 100k.

How do organizations and businesses use emojis compared to individual users?

🔥 (fire emoji): With 80k mentions, this emoji has topped the list as the most used emoji by brands and organizations so far this year. Coming in close behind was 👉(white right pointing backhand index emoji).

✨(sparkles): With close to 131m mentions, this emoji landed the #1 spot among consumers on social media.

Looking at the chart, it’s clear that brands and individual users use emojis differently. For brands looking to connect with their audience online, they must consider cultural differences while ideating social media campaigns and measuring their success. 

Emojis are an important part of communicating with your audience. To learn more about incorporating emojis appropriately and avoiding pitfalls, check out our practical guide to emojis for social media managers.

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