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Smileys at work: 36% of staff use emojis mostly with peers at their own level

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In an Adobe study focused on 1,000 emoji users in the US, laughter, love and kisses are users’ favorite emojis, both individually and as pairings. While these emojis are the most popular for women, for men the crying emoji makes it to the top three most commonly-used.

The survey comes soon after World Emoji Day was held on 17 July.


Text messages remain the communication form of choice for emoji use for 82% of users. Among the social media apps, emoji use on Facebook (48%) is much higher compared to Instagram (21%), Snapchat (18%) or Twitter (6%).

Further, respondents said they most commonly use emojis for the following recipients:

  • Friends – 83%
  • Partner/significant other – 55%
  • Children – 35%
  • Parents – 24%
  • Coworkers – 19%
  • Grandchildren | Others – 6%
  • Grandparents – 2%


On the work front, three in five emoji users say they use emojis at work (61%), most frequently with people at their level (36%). Just 13% say they use emojis with everyone, regardless of level.

When emojis are used at work, the majority of emoji users felt they positively impact the likability of the person communicating with them (78%) and made positive news feel more sincere (74%). Just over half (53%) also agreed that emojis make negative news or feedback easier to accept.

More than half of emoji users (58%) also said they are more likely to open emails from brands that include emojis in the subject line.

Going forward, three in four users (76%) wish more emojis were available, including more emoji customisation options to better reflect their personal appearances. However, topping the wishlist for more emojis was “food/drink/snacks” cited by 14% of respondents. One user noted: “I wish there were more international food emojis to choose from, especially Asian cuisine.”

Lead image / 123RF
Graphics / Adobe Emoji Trend Report

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