Haha! LOL is dead on Facebook

When Facebook users laugh it up, they’re more apt to hahaha than LOL, a new study by the website reveals. But those cute little emoji are as popular as ever.

The “Not So Universal Language of Laughter” report sprang from a New Yorker story by Sarah Larson, who wrote about how she “e-laughs” in emails, chats and texts.

Haha, hoho, heehee and heh “are implicitly understood by just about everybody,” Larson wrote. “But, in recent years, there’s been an increasingly popular newcomer: hehe. Not surprisingly, it’s being foisted upon us by youth.”

The folks at Facebook, taken with Larson’s discussion on the evolution of e-laughter, decided to research preferences among their own users.

They analyzed posts and comments made on Facebook in the last week of May.

First, they found that 15 percent of people included at least one e-laugh in a post or comment that week.

More than 51 percent “laughed” with a haha. Nearly 34 percent used an emoji, and 13 percent used hehe.

And LOL?

It’s AWOL, dead, appearing in just under 2 percent of posts and comments analyzed, and definitely preferred by the older crowd.

Some other breakdowns:

▪ Kansas prefers haha to emojis; Missourians use emojis more than hahas. Both states still love their LOLs.

▪ People in Chicago and New York prefer emoji; Seattle and San Francisco likes hahas.

▪ Emoji were more popular among women; slightly more men than women preferred haha.

▪ A single emoji is used 50 percent of the time; stringing more than five identical emojis together is rare on Facebook.

▪ In the key election battleground states of Ohio and Virginia, haha is the preference, but emojis rule in Florida.

Not surprisingly, this discussion of e-laughter prompted funny discussion on social media.