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.
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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.
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.