‘Face with Tears of Happiness’ is once again the most used emoji.

Until recently, I was a firm believer in traditional smiley emojis. “it’s cute!” I thought, as I gladly used it to indicate my gentle fun on everything from pennies to fun weekend plans. But apparently, that was a mistake, and when I thought I was expressing sincere happiness, I was actually sending an emoji that was “grossly insulting in every conceivable way.” Guardian.

The rest of the world seems to agree, and “a little smiling face”, to use its full name, is not among the top 10 most used emojis in 2021. In fact, according to data from the Unicode Consortium, even a small smiling face is not in the top 20. It ranks 28th, a sandwich between “clapping hands” and “flush faces.”

How the ranking of the top 10 emojis has changed, according to data from the Unicode Consortium.
Photo: Unicode Consortium

Instead of embracing the subtle joys of a lightly smiling face, the world has continued its love affair with a “tearful face of joy”, a cross of an emoji, a blunt instrument that leaves no room for humor or ambiguity. Is. It has reportedly topped the list since at least 2017, and in 2021, it accounted for more than 5% of emoji sent online. Funny

Jokes aside, it’s interesting to see from this data how widely the emojis we use are compatible, even when the world has been turned upside down by epidemics. In its blog, the Unicode Consortium points out that the top 10 emojis have seen only one change between the two years, and yet, these two very similar emojis (with “two hearts” smiling with “3 hearts”). Had to change with the face.

This does not mean that there were no big moves. The birthday cake emoji went from 113 to 25, while the balloon slowly went from 139 to 48. My personal favorite, begging face also broke the top 20 from 97 to 14. But surprisingly, I didn’t see much change in the real epidemiology shelter for epidemics, like the microbe emoji, which barely made it into the top 500 (there are a total of 3,663 emojis if you’re wondering). ۔

Aside from the fact that this type of data is quite interesting, it is useful for the Unicode Consortium to understand which emojis are the most popular as it decides which characters to add next. How to make an emoji is an amazingly interesting process, and you can read about it in this article by my colleague J. Peters (who came up with tips for frozen faces and waffle emoji).

Still, at least for us, there is hope for a little smiling face from there. Emoji saw a dramatic increase in popularity between 2019 and 2021, where it was previously ranked 50th. At this rate, we can still make it into the top 10. [fingers crossed emoji].

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