A new language: Emojis and social media

A new language: Emojis and social media

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If we have an opinion, many of us use Twitter to express it. And, emojis have become a handy way of conveying how we feel in a universally understood way. Between 2013 and 2019, there were 3.7 billion tweets that contained an emoji (or, that contained at least one of the 400 most common emojis).

This data, gathered through social listening tool Brandwatch by Carphone Warehouse, helps paint an interesting picture of how our relationship with popular apps has changed over time. Some key findings below:

COVID-19’s most popular apps by emoji use

The coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented effect on the types of apps we use, how we feel about them, and how we use them. Through looking at the emojis used when talking about the app online, the following is an outline of how Britain feels about both the newer apps that have emerged during this pandemic (and subsequent lockdown), and the older apps that have seen a revival of interest.

The most popular apps, by the number of overall mentions, are:

  • Microsoft Teams (117,000 mentions)
  • Zoom (43,000)
  • Houseparty (19,000)
  • Disney+ (19,000)
  • Duolingo (2,646)
  • Headspace (2,021)
  • Calm (220)
  • Nextdoor (55)

We’re most expressive about Twitter and Snapchat

The table below ranks the decade’s 20 most downloaded apps by the number of times an emoji is used when someone mentions the app on social media. The data spans six years from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2019, and shows Twitter leading the ranks by a wide margin:

RankAppNumber of emojis% of total
1Twitter1127370337.76%
2Snapchat393526513.18%
3Instagram354353011.87%
4YouTube310004210.38%
5Facebook307053310.28%
6Netflix12064384.04%
7Amazon8535652.86%
8Spotify6927912.32%
9WhatsApp6179022.07%
10Uber3829481.28%
11eBay3771631.26%
12Skype3303811.11%
13Tinder2954060.99%
14TikTok657300.22%
15Google Maps379910.13%
16Dropbox226550.08%
17Gmail204620.07%
18Facebook Messenger148820.05%
19Viber113340.04%
20Google Chrome51350.02%
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