Millions of people use and love emojis every day — and now, we know exactly which ones are everybody’s fave. Based on an analysis of over one billion pieces of data across 16 different languages, SwiftKey (the keyboard app) has officially found the most popular emojis around the world. Their report is thorough and insightful, and full of unexpected gems on how people around the globe like to communicate pictorially. The data was pulled between October 2014 and January 2015, and includes both iOS and Android devices in its findings — and the results are absolutely fascinating.
Overall, we use smiley faces over three times more than we use sad faces, and the most popular emoji in the world is the “crying tears of joy” face. Of course, the happiness statistic makes sense — when you’re genuinely bummed, you’re probably not going to be too focused on finding the perfect emoji for your text message. Nonetheless, it’s nice to know that our emoji self-expression seems to be overwhelmingly positive. The Guardian even put together this handy guide of the other top emojis, ranked based on the percentage they are used out of total emojis used. (As you can see, smiley faces reign supreme.)
The top 10 emojis are indicative of the bigger picture, as well. When you look at the breakdown of our emoji use by categories, the face emojis absolutely dominate — making up nearly 60% of our total emoji use.
The report also delves into some interesting country-based data. Perhaps the two most fun findings from the whole study are that Canada uses the smiley poop emoji the most (yes!) and French speakers use heart emojis four times more than everyone else — further proof that French really is the language of love. In fact, the French were the only users where hearts beat out a smiley face for top-used emoji.
The weird/fun facts don’t stop there. Arabic speakers use plants and flowers four times more than the average emoji user, Russian speakers use “romance-themed emoji” three times more, and Australia is “the land of vices and indulgence” when it came to their emoji picks. (You can probably deduce which of the emojis that entails.)
Perhaps surprisingly, Americans use LGBTQ+ emojis more than any other country, and use the below (seemingly random) emojis more than anyone else, as well:
In the scheme of things, the study was on the small side (the data came from the SwiftKey Cloud, something users have to opt into), but we still think it’s a great start in the untapped world of emoji analysis, and a fascinating look at the way we communicate in the 21st century. Check out the rest of the report for yourself here.