Over the last several years, emojis have become part of modern communication. The little cartoon faces and images are ingrained in our culture.
“Sometimes it’s easier to respond with an emoji to show the emotion you’re feeling versus trying to articulate it with words,” Laura Pearce, head of consumer marketing with Twitter Canada, said.
“It’s hard to express your emotions in an eloquent way, especially when we’re all rushing to make a response in a social context.
“A picture is worth a thousand words. It’s a fun, whimsical way of expressing your personality.”
On July 17, World Emoji Day, Twitter Canada released lists of the most-used emojis by Canadians and how they compare to trends around the world.
Watch below: Tuesday marks World Emoji Day which celebrates how the little icons have changed the way we communicate. Emily Mertz breaks down which emojis were the most popular this year.
Between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, the most popular emoji in Canada was the laughing with tears face, followed by the heart-eyes face. The top two were the same globally.
“The really fun part is that globally and in Canada, we’re a happy group of people,” Pearce told Global News.
“The laugh-out-loud or the smiling-with-tears-of-laughter is the most popular emoji globally and in Canada, followed by the smiling with heart eyes.
“It’s nice to see the happiness sort of shine through.”
Twitter also tallied up the top animal emojis. In Canada, the top spot went to the monkey covering its eyes, followed by the dog, then the cat. Globally, the cat was used more than the dog emoji.
“It’s always nice to see these local differences and how we express ourselves,” she added. “We did see a small difference between — Canadians are, I think, more partial to the dog emoji than they are to the cat emoji — globally, we saw the cat emoji be a little more popular. So there’s just fun little nuances there.”
When it comes to food, the most-used emojis in Canada over the last year were, in order: pizza, cake, beers, peach and avocado.
“There’s some fun silliness around the fruit emojis and how popular peach may or may not be. As you know, sometimes emojis have double meanings, so I’ll leave that up to you to interpret,” Pearce said with a chuckle.
Sports is where Canadian use differed the most from the international trends.
In Canada, the top five sports-related emojis this year were: basketball, hockey, baseball, soccer and football. Internationally, the order was: trophy, soccer, basketball, video game controls, football.
“You’d expect in Canada, the hockey stick to be the first one, but basketball edged out hockey this year,” Pearce said.
“We had a big run with the Raptors in the NBA and then obviously a lot of talk on Twitter and other places about the NBA final. Hockey is number two.
“Globally, the trophy is number one and we just wrapped up the World Cup and that’s followed by the soccer emoji.”
Pearce said it’s neat to see companies engage their audiences in different emoji discussions. She used the Royal Ontario Museum as an example of using a clever approach to World Emoji Day.
“The ROM has got a great tweet out there today showing artefacts that sort of look similar to the emoji. If you reply to them, they’ll send you an artefact that maybe looks a little bit like the emoji.”
For its part, Twitter Canada is asking users what their favourite emoji is as well as what they think their “spirit emoji” would be — a concept similar to a “spirit animal.”
Apple, meanwhile, took advantage of World Emoji Day to announce more than 70 new emojis coming later this year.
In addition to more character options — including redhead, curly, grey hair and bald options — the update will welcome more animals and food icons.
The operating system update will add a cold face, party face, pleading face, face with hearts, kangaroo, peacock, parrot, lobster, mango, lettuce, cupcake and moon cake.