Latest Research: The Best Brands and Industries for Customer Experience 2020

Blending 200 million online conversations with 9,000 global survey responses, we found out how brands can get CX right

Read the report

Latest Research: The Best Brands and Industries for Customer Experience 2020

Blending 200 million online conversations with 9,000 global survey responses, we found out how brands can get CX right

Read the report
Online Trends

Published March 29th 2019

The Most Popular Emojis

Emoji is the language of the future. But which are most popular? We have the data.

To celebrate the release of our Emotions Report, we’d like to share our research on the most popular emojis online.

Brandwatch can pick up usage of emojis published across the internet, and for this research we scoured tweets posted in 2018 to find the most common emojis that popped up.

Below you’ll find the top 100 most popular emojis of 2018 according to our research, and we’ll provide full profiles for the top 10.

But, if you’re interested in getting the full picture, we’d highly recommend viewing the full report.

The most popular emojis

We’ll start by examining the top 10, the top 20, and then before broaden our search out to the top 50 and top 100.

Here are the sacred few emojis that get used most on Twitter – we’ve included the official Unicode names, but you might recognize them better by just looking at them 😂

The top 10 most popular emojis

1. Face With Tears of Joy 😂

Yes, crying with joyful laughter is the top. It’s great for nearly every situation – I’ve just locked myself out! I just heard a great joke! My dog has pooped on the carpet… AGAIN!

Not only can crying with laughter signify traditional humor, it can help you laugh at literally anything.

2. Loudly Crying Face 😭

Quite the opposite with crying with laughter is crying with sadness. The sobbing emoji is at number.

Fun fact: Both men and women have the sobbing emoji as their number 2 – don’t listen when people say boys don’t cry.

3. Smiling Face With Heart-Eyes 😍

Heart eyes kicks off a whole string of love-themed emojis in the top 10.

“Beautiful” and “cute” are the most common words to appear alongside this emoji.

4. Red Heart ❤️

The heart emoji, the most prominent symbol of love, is in at number 4.

Doesn’t it make you feel fuzzy inside?

5. Backhand Index Pointing Right 👉

The point emoji is a fairly surprising one – it’s not particularly emotional like the rest of the top 10.

It’s often used to highlight particular links in tweets.

6. Purple Heart 💜

The purple heart emoji is particularly popular with BTS fans, and the group’s official account tweets it fairly often.

7. Two Hearts 💕

Next in the succession of heart emojis is the double heart.

Sometimes it appears red, and sometimes pink, but it’s always two hearts together. How sweet!

“Happy” is the most common word used in association with the double heart emoji.

8. Smiling Face With Smiling Eyes 😊

The blushing smiley face is a great way to accept a compliment, or to say that you’re feeling loved, or perhaps to tell people that you’re both happy and warm.

According to the top words used alongside this emoji, it’s popular when talking about good times and birthdays.

9. Thinking Face 🤔

The thinking face will often follow a question, or simply express confusion.

It’s often used in regard to political events, with “Trump” and “Democrats” used often alongs with it.

10. Folded Hands 🙏

Praying hands, or maybe thanking hands, (and the super rare high-five hands) squeeze in at number 10.

“Love,” “good,” and “family” are all common words associated with it, and it’s often used to show gratitude.

The top 20 most popular emojis

Let’s cast a wider net and see what the top 20 have to say about how we express ourselves online:

More than half of the emojis in the top 20 list have an obviously positive connotation, which, in a way is uplifting in itself.

The dominance of hearts shows just how much love is thrown around on Twitter, while the top emoji signifies laughter.

Of course, the internet is not positive all the time. The top 20 also includes disinterested, tired and crying faces – obviously negative – as well as the fire emoji, that often signifies brutal sass.

There’s a lot of positivity, but our top 20 is not without struggle and conflict. It’s kind of like a microcosm of the world at large.

The top 50 most popular emojis

Let’s zoom out a little more on the emojis that dominate Twitter.

As we go beyond the top 20 into the top 50 you’ll see plenty more symbols relating to love and happiness. But, again, there are plenty of points of negativity.

That said, not all the traditionally negative symbols here actually connote negativity in their use on Twitter.

A good example is the skull emoji. As we note in our report:

“Just as likely, people use the emoji when something is extremely funny, alongside phrases like “I’m dead” or “you’re killing me” after jokes or memes online.

“You can see in the topic cloud, when people use the skull emoji, several “crying laughter” emojis and variations on LMAO arise as major keywords and topics.”

The top 100 most popular emojis

As we zoom out once again, an even greater range of emojis is available.

Whereas in the top 50 much of the content is face or emotion related, we saw a lot more items when we look at the top 100. Money, Christmas trees, footballs, and eggplants – all of which come with their own emotional ties – feature within the top 100.

The further out you get, interestingly, the more emojis with naughtier connotatations seem to come up.

The aforementioned eggplant, the peach, a “no under 18’s” sign, the poop emoji, beers, and the gust of wind (fart) emoji all feature in the outer ring.

They’re all still incredibly popular (it’s not easy to make the top 100), but for the most part it seems that tweeters are inclined towards the more innocent emoji selection.

Delve deeper

Of course, this is a really broad stroke analysis that misses out on many of the niches that manifest themselves on social. Emoji use is different depending on the person typing and what they’re typing about.

For example, depending on industry:

Most used emojis for financial services brands

Source: Brandwatch, Twitter data gathered throughout 2018

Top used emojis for fashion brands

Source: Brandwatch, Twitter data gathered throughout 2018

We’d highly recommend checking out our full Emotions Report to learn more about emojis, plus:

  • Why are people most angry on Thursdays?
  • How do our emotions about dieting and health change when we talk on forums versus Instagram?
  • How does public emotion evolve as a brand crisis unfolds?
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The Emotions Report

In this report we examine how we share emotions online, when we use emojis, and the impact emotional conversations has on brands and agencies..

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Crimson Hexagon has merged with Brandwatch. You’re in the right place!

From May 8th, all Crimson Hexagon products are now on the Brandwatch website. You’ll find them under ‘Products’ in the navigation. If you’re an existing customer and you want to know more, your account manager will be happy to help.