The most popular emojis by state — in one awesome map
Vermont loves the poop emoji; Washington loves the donut; and Nevada is all about the eggplant. Earlier this year, smartphone keyboard company Swiftkey released a report on the top emojis used around the world — and now, they’re getting specific.
Swiftkey’s latest data delves into “The United States of Emoji“: A report based on over a billion pieces of data that explores the most (and least) popular emojis by state, along with what emoji each state uses more than every other state. While some of the data makes perfect sense (e.g., Statue of Liberty for New York, or the surfing emoji for Hawaii), a lot of it was pretty surprising.
“If you take an average of how everyone uses emoji in the US, and look at it state-by-state level — this is where it gets interesting, right? Because obviously everyone uses smilies. Everyone uses thumbs up. Everyone uses all these other things,” Swiftkey CMO Joe Braidwood told HelloGiggles. “When you start looking at what over-indexes the most, based on the baseline of individual emoji being used, that’s when you get really interesting data come out. Because you see how people are expressing themselves and using emojis as more of a language, in addition to an expression of, ‘I’m sad’ or ‘I’m crying’ or whatever it is.”
The company released both an in-depth text report on their findings and an interactive map that’s perfect for exploring. The map is an absolute delight, and it’s filled with hidden gems and plenty of emoji insights (emojinsights?). Personally, I wasn’t aware Connecticut had such an overwhelming love for koalas — but their emoji usage suggests otherwise.
“We build these things for our users,” Braidwood told us. “On a very personal level, the most exciting moments in our work are when people go crazy about stuff that we’ve worked on behind the scenes for months and months.”
As Braidwood explains, Swiftkey is only going to get more personal from here. On Tuesday, the company launched a new feature within their keyboard app that offers personalized emoji insight on an individual basis. The app can now tell you your top seven most-used emojis, your “signature” emoji (what you use more than other people on average), and what state best reflects your emoji usage.
“In terms of a slightly broader narrative, we’ve been doing this for a long time, and I think that we’re only just now on the cusp of being able to engineer the second part of our product vision,” Braidwood said. “The first one was, ‘Let’s build a keyboard that doesn’t suck’. . . But then, off the back of that, let’s let people learn about themselves. Let’s teach people about what their vocabulary looks like, what their language looks like, what their emoji usage looks like.”
“I think what we’re on the cusp of doing is taking a much more direct, personal take on how language is evolving — and how people are using everything from slang, emoji, and so on in the way that they express themselves,” he continued.
For those of us who haven’t hopped on the emoji train yet and skew a little more traditional, fear not: Apparently, there’s research on the horizon for us, too.
“Without giving away too much ahead of time, I think words are an obvious next step for us to explore,” Braidwood said.
Check out Swiftkey’s latest report and interactive map here.
(Images via Swiftkey.)