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Social Listening Platforms, Q4 2020

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Online Trends

Published March 13th 2020

The Most Popular Emojis

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

Our annual Emotions report is always a lot of fun for the team.

Emojis play such an interesting role in how we communicate online and with Brandwatch tools we can see how they are shared and why.

For the report, we tracked and analyzed emoji use across 2019, plus a whole bunch of other cool metrics like how we convey emotion online. In this article, we’ll count down the top 10 most used emojis of the whole year.

If you’re interested in a deeper dive, download our full report. 

The most popular emojis

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 emoji countdown

10. Face with Rolling Eyes 🙄

Did your partner just make a dad joke? Did your uncle seriously just text you “boys will be boys”? Probably all of the above.

Rolling eyes emoji made its way into the top 10 in 2019 and honestly, based on the year we had, we’re not surprised.

9. Distraught Face 😫

Closed eyes, furrowed brows, and a broad, open frown, as if distraught to the point of giving up …. There seems to be a theme for 2019?

Interestingly, this emoji is most used by females. Seems like women were exceptionally fed up last year.

8. Thinking Face 🤔

This emoji indicates that people were giving a lot of thought to various subjects. From the price of objects to tracking their cat’s steps, there was a lot to ponder

7. Fire 🔥

While we hope no one is using this emoji to indicate an actual fire (please call the authorities), there was certainly a lot of this symbol in 2019.

It’s most commonly used as shorthand for slang like ‘hot’ and ‘lit’.

6. Smiling Face with Smiling Eyes 😌

As we creep up the list, you’ll see that not all hope was lost in 2019. In fact, there are lots of warm fuzzy feelings, just like the Smiling Face with Smiling Eyes emoji.

People most often use this one to convey happiness and joy. Like when bae does something special for you or your coworkers pitch in for a nice birthday gift. We’re smiling just thinking about it.

5. Smiling Face with Heart-Eyes 😍

Keeping with the joyful vibe, this staple emoji conveys enthusiastic feelings of love, infatuation, and adoration.

Whether you’re loving a new album from your favorite artist or eyeing a pair of limited edition shoes, the heart-eyes are there for all the excitement.

4. Rolling on the Floor Laughing 🤣

This is the emoji equivalent of LMAO. Reserved for truly hilarious instances, people seemed to find lots of reasons to laugh themselves silly last year – even LeBron James got involved.

3. Red Heart ❤️

The red heart emoji is a universal symbol for showing love. You may want to shout out your best friend for always being there, or show your sister some love on Instagram, but whatever the reason, the heart is effective in communicating that affection.

2. Loudly Crying Face 😭

Open mouth wailing and streams of heavy tears flowing from closed eyes: While this may sound a lot like grief, it is also used frequently for other intense feelings like non-stop laughter or overwhelming joy.

1. Face with Tears of Joy 😂

And in the first place spot for another year is the face with tears of joy! We see a lot of laughing across platforms, especially with funny videos or memes.

Changes from last year’s rankings:

  • Praying Hands ( 🙏), Two Hearts (💕), Purple Heart (💜) and Backhand Index Pointing Right (👉) all dropped off the list.
  • Smiling Face with Heart-Eyes ( 😍) dropped two spots this year, while Smiling Face with Smiling Eyes ( 😌) jumped up two spots.
  • Fire ( 🔥), Distraught Face ( 😫), Face with Rolling Eyes ( 🙄) and Rolling on the Floor Laughing ( 🤣) all made their top 10 debuts.

Delve deeper

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

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

  • How emotions are expressed online
  • Events that make people happiest
  • Which sectors and brands evoke the most positive feelings
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Global Emotions Report 2020

When we understand the emotions of our customers, we can better cater to their needs. What does the emotional landscape look like online? And what industries/brands come out on top?.

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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.