The ‘laugh-cry combination emoji emerged as the world’s most used emoji in 2021 according to Adobe’s 2021 Global Emoji Trend Analysis, a report which was released days before the July 17 World Emoji Day.

Adobe’s new report highlights how emojis contribute to our daily interaction, spreading love and empathy beyond language barriers, especially in these challenging times when the global pandemic has hampered the majority of human international travels, necessitating the need to communicate online.

Similar to the 2019 version of the report, the 2021’s most favorite emojis list also consisted of the famous red ‘heart’ and ‘kiss-heart’. However, this year, the upward ‘thumbs-up’ made it into the second spot!

Adobe, a voting member of the Unicode Consortium that oversees emoji standards, compiled this year’s report by surveying 7,000 emoji users in the US, UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. Adobe considers that the “laugh-cry” emoji is very popular due to its extreme usefulness to mean something serious and funny at the same time. This is something that is even more important during the global pandemic when we had to rely on digital communication more than ever before.

Paul D. Hunt, the Adobe typeface designer, says: “There’s an English idiom: ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.” This ıs why we use emojis a lot. With emojis, we can understand the emotion more deeply, we can see when someone writes irritated or cheerful. I believe we respond more emotionally to imagery, and so, emoji can help the approximate tone of voice, gestures, and emotional reactions better with imagery than with words alone. This is the potential strength of emoji: to help us connect more deeply to the feeling behind our messages sent by digital text.’’

The study’s biggest finding this time around is that emojis can help improve empathy. 88% of those surveyed said they were more likely to feel empathetic towards someone who used emojis. On top of that, after the release of more inclusive emojis covering different skin tones, disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community, 70% of people agreed that this strengthens cultural and background inclusivity while tackling relevant social issues.

“These cute, colorful pictograms are also full of potential relationship-building power,” Hunt also says. One of the important problems and fear of society is to be misunderstood, that’s why we use emojis to be understood more accurately, making the use of emojis more important than ever in this fastly and vastly growing digital world.

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