Christina Wolfgram
June 17, 2015 11:28 am

Do you ever wish there were more yearbook superlatives than “Best Hair,” and “Most Likely to Succeed?” Maybe there could be some more accessible ones like “Most Likely to Watch An Entire Season of Doctor Who Over the Weekend” or “Best Snapchatter?” We spend so much time on our phones, wouldn’t it make sense to change “Most Popular Person,” to “Most Popular Emoji?”

A company called Curalate certainly thinks so. After a month of researching Instagram hashtags, Curalate released data on how regularly each emoji gets used, and you’ll never guess who won Most Popular …

The red heart emoji!

Hearts actually dominated the findings, with the face with heart-shaped eyes coming in as second most-used and the kissy face emoji sliding into third. The top ten most popular emojis looks like the best day ever: the list includes the thumbs up sign, the lipstick kiss mark, and the smiley face who is laughing so hard he’s crying. Yay! Hopefully these happy emojis reflect people’s real, positive feelings. Love really does conquer all!

Curalate studied public hashtags on Instagram for a month, starting on the date emoji hashtags launched, April 27. By May 27, the company had data on 6.4 million individual emojis. Whoa. That’s a lot of feelings.

The red heart emoji won Most Popular by a landslide, with 575,381 hashtags, which we totally <3. Funny enough, the least popular emoji was the wailing one, aka the emoji you don’t want to take out to dinner because he’s a really picky eater and will hate anything he orders. We’d take a <3 over a 🙁 any day, both in emoji-form and IRL.

Forbes speculated that the heart emoji’s popularity is a sign that social media platforms should incorporate more hearts into their design. Periscope already allows users to tap on their screens to add hearts to a clip, while Instagram has always used hearts to represent likes. One Twitter investor, billionaire Chris Sacca, wrote in a blog post that he thinks Twitter should change their “favorite” button from a star to a heart. “The heart is universally understood and embraced,” he said. “If Twitter integrated a simple heart gesture into each Tweet, engagement across the entire service would explode.” We’re all for more hearts! Hearts all around!

Where did your favorite emojis fall on this popularity scale? Personally, I’m a little surprised that the smiling poo is #91, but you win some, you lose some.

(Images via here, here, here, and here.)

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