Smileys, hair types and human appendages are among the most discussed emoji additions in iOS 12.1.

Most engaging were the new hairless people (👩‍🦲 Woman: Bald / 👨‍🦲 Man: Bald),  🥴 Woozy Face, and 🥰 Smiling Face With 3 Hearts.

The new 🦶 Foot emoji saw a disproportionate number of retweets compared to other high-engagement emojis, while the 🥰 Smiling Face With 3 Hearts saw almost no commentary, but a lot a likes and retweets which made it the third highest in this list.

Above: Top 25 emojis as per social media response. Image: Emojipedia.

Of the six new smileys in iOS 12.1, only 🥶 Cold Face and 🥳 Partying Face didn't make the top 10. It appears that the variety of interpretations (and potentially suggestive uses) of 🥴 Woozy Face, 🥺 Pleading Face and 🥵 Hot Face led these to draw higher engagement than those with more literal and narrow use cases.

Measuring new emojis by engagement (likes, comments and retweets) on Twitter isn't necessarily an indication of how popular any emoji will be in real-world use, but it does give an insight into which emojis people consider interesting, notable or controversial in some way.

Notably, a number of the top emojis have been associated with existing slang phrases or memes (👩‍🦲 = “wig snatched”, 🧾 = “show me the receipts”, 🥴 = “nutted but she keep sucking”, 🥺 = “spare coochie?”) which goes a long way to explaining the oversized popularity of the bald emoji over, for example, red hair.

Commentary on the seventh-ranked 🦵 Leg primarily seemed to focus on the “weird” nature of this addition, as opposed to a particular expression of interest in using it as an emoji.

Rounding out the top 1/3 of the list were almost exclusively food items and animals. 🥭 Mango made it in the top 10, two spots ahead of the commonly-requested 🧁 Cupcake.

🦙 Llama was the most popular animal, and 🦟 Mosquito the least popular.

At the less-discussed end of scale are household items such as 🧺 Basket (displayed on iOS as a laundry basket) and 🧹 Broom, as well as objects such as a 🧯 Fire Extinguisher and 🧰 Toolbox. 🧷 Safety Pin may have seen more popularity if release in 2016 when it was used as a display of solidarity with marginalized groups.

I'm a little surprised to see 🧮 Abacus — possibly the least relevant emoji of the new set — is not at the very end of the list.

All responses are charted below, with 70 entries in total. Gender and skin tone variations for human emojis have been merged into a single entry per emoji group.

Above: Smileys and people were the most engaging emojis in iOS 12.1, while household objects saw the least discussion. Image: Emojipedia.

The List

All statistics in this article have been gathered from this Twitter thread, with numbers tallied from October 30 2018 to November 7 2018.

The date range used means that an emoji such as the 🥯 Bagel—which had a lot of scrutiny in during the prior weeks—doesn't necessarily show as high as it might have done had the same thread been posted during the iOS 12.1 beta period.

It's also worth noting that while other platforms did roll these emojis out earlier than Apple, iOS is the only platform with a universally fast uptake of new emoji support, and thus it's rare to see widespread use of new emojis until they are released on iOS.

Rank Emoji Comments Retweets Likes Total
1 👩‍🦲 Woman/Man: Bald 166 831 3,969 4,966
2 🥴 Woozy Face 429 947 3,400 4,776
3 🥰 Smiling Face With 3 Hearts 31 721 3,500 4,252
4 🦶 Foot 329 1,300 2,600 4,229
5 🥺 Pleading Face 105 677 3,200 3,982
6 🥵 Hot Face 85 623 2,600 3,308
7 🦵 Leg 33 528 1,400 1,961
8 👩‍🦱 Woman/Man: Curly Hair 38 272 1,381 1,691
9 🥭 Mango 26 257 1,300 1,583
10 👩‍🦰 Woman/Man: Red Hair 90 237 1,197 1,524
11 🧁 Cupcake 12 173 1,300 1,485
12 🦙 Llama 34 250 1,100 1,384
13 🦝 Raccoon 34 277 981 1,292
14 🥶 Cold Face 5 143 1,100 1,248
15 🥳 Partying Face 2 138 1,000 1,140
16 🥯 Bagel 23 195 897 1,115
17 🧂 Salt 24 163 793 980
18 🦸‍♀️ Superhero 2 123 815 940
19 🥮 Moon Cake 8 115 806 929
20 🦹‍♀️ Supervillain 6 117 793 916
21 🧾 Receipt 9 145 714 868
22 🛹 Skateboard 14 130 674 818
23 👩‍🦳 Woman/Man: White Hair 12 75 696 783
24 🦷 Tooth 11 131 565 707
25 🧿 Nazar Amulet 12 126 558 696
26 🦚 Peacock 5 73 613 691
27 🦴 Bone 18 106 556 680
28 🦛 Hippopotamus 6 89 567 662
29 🦠 Microbe 6 108 533 647
30 🥬 Leafy Green 6 67 555 628
31 🧸 Teddy Bear 3 86 534 623
32 🥎 Softball 5 79 464 548
33 🦢 Swan 3 73 469 545
34 🥍 Lacrosse 9 81 455 545
35 🧬 DNA 7 84 412 503
36 🦜 Parrot 3 52 440 495
37 🦘 Kangaroo 9 64 375 448
38 🦡 Badger 8 49 360 417
39 🥼 Lab Coat 2 48 360 410
40 🦞 Lobster 6 55 341 402
41 ♟ Chess Pawn 3 43 336 382
42 🧫 Petri Dish 5 67 304 376
43 🥏 Flying Disc 8 48 319 375
44 🦟 Mosquito 10 52 284 346
45 🧱 Brick 2 41 260 303
46 🧼 Soap 3 34 249 286
47 🥽 Goggles 1 25 243 269
48 🇺🇳 Flag: United Nations 3 30 227 260
49 🧪 Test Tube 1 37 220 258
50 🧴 Lotion Bottle 7 49 193 249
51 🧧 Red Envelope 2 28 209 239
52 🥾 Hiking Boot 4 19 196 219
53 🥿 Flat Shoe 4 25 184 213
54 ♾ Infinity 2 29 178 209
55 🧩 Jigsaw 3 19 186 208
56 🏴‍☠️ Pirate Flag 4 31 163 198
57 🧮 Abacus 1 20 174 195
58 🧳 Luggage 3 15 169 187
59 🧵 Thread 2 25 160 187
60 🧻 Roll of Paper 5 32 143 180
61 🧨 Firecracker 1 13 150 164
62 🧶 Yarn 3 20 141 164
63 🧭 Compass 3 11 149 163
64 🧽 Sponge 4 17 120 141
65 🧲 Magnet 2 14 123 139
66 🧷 Safety Pin 1 12 125 138
67 🧰 Toolbox 1 11 112 124
68 🧯 Fire Extinguisher 3 10 106 119
69 🧹 Broom 1 14 101 116
70 🧺 Basket 1 12 84 97

Further Reading

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