Emoji users in the U.S. can’t get enough of the “face with tears of joy” emoji (😂), according to a survey recently conducted by Adobe, whose findings were made public on Wednesday—which, not incidentally, is World Emoji Day.
The report is based on answers to a 10-minute survey provided by 1,000 Americans between the ages of 16 and 73. It found that in addition to “tears of joy,” the next favorite emoji are the red heart (❤️), and the “face blowing a kiss” emoji (😘). The top two emoji in Adobe’s report are consistent not only with findings about emoji use released by Apple in 2017, but also the current standings on the site Emojitracker, which tabulates emoji use on Twitter in real time. However, the new report suggests a drop in the use of the “sob” emoji (😭), which was the third-most-used according to Apple’s findings two years ago. Women’s favorite emoji matched the overall favorite emoji perfectly, while the three favorite emoji among men were, in order, “face with tears of joy,” “grinning face with smiling eyes” (😁), and the “crying face” emoji (😢).
The Adobe survey also polled emoji users on their favorite emoji pairings—a combo of “heart eyes” (😍) and “face blowing a kiss” emoji emerged as the most popular—their reasons for using emoji, and how they interpret emoji use by others. A vast majority of survey respondents (81 percent) feel that people who use emoji are more approachable and friendlier. Meanwhile 65 of respondents (and a full 83 percent of Gen Z respondents) said they felt more comfortable expressing emotions with emoji than a phone call. The survey results also showed strong demand for more diverse and customizable emoji—73 percent of respondents wanted more customization options to make their emoji better match their identities.
The findings of Adobe’s survey were not all hearts and kisses, though. Sixty percent of respondents said emoji can come across as impersonal or generic, and 35 percent said they’d sent an emoji that they subsequently regretted sending.