Emoji Use At All-Time High
Global emoji use has reached an all-time high, with more than one in five tweets now containing an emoji. This has increased from an emoji in every six tweets in 2019, and one-in-ten tweets in 2014.
This latest increase in emoji use comes in the same month as World Emoji Day, which is celebrated on 📅 July 17 each year.
This finding of increased emoji use is based on an analysis of over 6.7 billion tweets from ten years of global Twitter data, mapped on a month-by-month basis.
For every month in 2021 thus far over one-fifth of all tweets have contained at least one of the currently-approved 3,521 emojis, continuing a trend detected during the latter parts of 2020.
These latest figures show 20.69% of tweets containing at least one emoji.
This means that July 2021 is on track to hold the highest proportion of emoji usage in the Twitter's history.
🔍 Five Year View
Honing in on the past five years of Twitter data, we can see that since the end of 2018 emoji usage in each subsequent July has exceeded that of the previous December.
This growth comes following a noticeable start-of-year lull each year, almost certainly attributable to the drop-off of emoji use regarding 🎅 Christmas and 🎊 New Year’s Eve.
Comparing July 2016 to July 2021, we can also see that emoji use on Twitter has increased from 14.5% to 20.69% over the last five years - a relative increase in emoji usage of over 40%.
Isolating just July, we can see this even more clearly, with the largest year-on-year increase occurring being between 2018 and 2019 (an increase of 2.79% of all tweets; relative 18.87% increase), followed by the jump between 2019 and 2020 (2.58% of all tweets; relative 14.68% increase).
Growth between 2020 and 2021 is lower than the highs of the previous two time periods. This slowdown may be explained by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic following some initial levels of emoji-based bemusement.
This could also be explained by the maturing of emoji in digital conversations, and a signal of more consistent use to come.
💉 From Humble Origins
Related to COVID-19 we can see that the use of 💉 Syringe is at an all-time high on Twitter since before the start of the pandemic.
This relatively unused emoji which was initially implemented for blood donation in Japan has seen new life as an emoji representing increasing COVID-19 vaccination around the globe.
🧮 More Emoji Stats
How many emojis are there? Which are most popular? We're keeping this page updated with all the latest emoji statistics.
🥳 World Emoji Day
In the meantime, here's to emojis: whether they're being used earnestly, ironically, or in any fashion in between, emojis have never been more relevant in our day-to-day digital communications.
Ahead of this coming Saturday, wishing you a Happy World Emoji 2021 to all our dedicated Emojipedia readers!
To keep up with what is happening in the leadup to July 17, use the #WorldEmojiDay hashtag or follow the official accounts:
And to get involved, consider voting in the World Emoji Awards, currently tallying the Most 2021 Emoji to be announced on July 17.
We asked which *single* emoji you felt best summed up 2021 so far.— World Emoji Awards 🗳🌍🏆 (@EmojiAwards) July 7, 2021
Now, we've pulled the responses together and it's back to you to help us pick a winner. Here's your bracket with all the options!
We'll be voting right here on Twitter between now and #WorldEmojiDay!⬇️ pic.twitter.com/V7kJeC3JMo
📖 Read More
- 😭 Loudly Crying Becomes Top Tier Emoji
- One Year On: Bored of the Pandemic
- Emoji Trends That Defined 2020
- July 17 is World Emoji Day Everywhere Now
Chosen as the date for World Emoji Day due to its appearance on the 📅 Calendar Emoji ↩︎
Twitter data files from September 2011 to May 2020 were obtained via The Internet Archive’s Twitter Stream Grab. Data from June 2020 onwards was collected by Emojipedia. All data was obtained via Twitter's free Spritzer API: a real-time stream of a random sample of 1% of all tweets. ↩︎
Of the 3,576 days between 27th September 2011 (the earliest date included on the Internet Archive) and the 11th of July 2021, 484 days are missing from our data, including the following months: July 2012, January 2014, June 2014, July 2014, August 2014, September 2014, January 2015, and February 2015 (243 days in total across these totally absent months). The total number of days for which we have a data sample is provided within our charts above, denoted by "# Days: xx/mm" when you place your cursor over a given month. ↩︎
While Twitter was founded in July 2006, Unicode only introduced emoji in 2010 via Unicode 6.0. Additionally, it wasn't until 2012's iOS 5.1 that Apple first began to use cross-platform compatible emoji codepoints from the Unicode Standard that are the focus of this analysis. ↩︎