The introduction of emojis has hanged the way we communicate digitally. These colourful icons have gone from cute pictures we use while texting to images laden with meaning.
The emoji options represent a variety of things; from faces, food, transportation to to sports and relationships. With the rise of smartphones and social media, they have livened up conversations, and people can now communicate emotions much more easily.
Apart from WhatsApp, where emojis are commonly used, these icons are now compatible with several messaging platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, SMS and e-mails.
As the world marks World Emoji Day this coming Saturday, we look at some of the most popular emojis used by Kenyans, according to Facebook.
It doesn't come as a surprise that the top used emojis in Kenya include the face with tears of joy, love heart and rolling on the floor laughing. These emojis are most common in WhatsApp and other social media platforms when people comment or react to posts and stories.
The popularity of Kenya's used emoji is also based on food and drinks, age and gender.
The most popular food and drink emojis used by Kenyans include, birthday cake, aubergine (eggplant), shortcake, candy, and lollipop. Although Facebook listed the eggplant emoji on the food category, Kenyans, and perhaps people worldwide, use it to represent something totally different; the manhood.
When it comes to age, the most popular emojis in the 18-24 bracket include face with tears of joy, love heart and rolling on the floor laughing. Ages 25 to 44 mostly use face with tears of joy and love heart. The 45+ are mostly fond of the love heart, person with folded hands and face with tears of joy.
The love heart and face with tears of joy emojis seem to be popular in all age brackets.
By gender, globally, over the past three months, women created more posts containing emojis than men. In Kenya, face with tears of joy, love heart and rolling on the floor laughing emojis are popular for both men and women.
In addition to the emojis, Facebook Messenger is launching Soundmojis today.
Soundmojis is a new feature that enables people to send short sound clips in Messenger chat. People will be able to choose from a library of options that range from sound effects (crickets, clapping, drumroll, and evil laughter) to popular song clips.
Each sound is sent as an emoji (no words), keeping the popular visual emojis in play while bringing sound into the mix.
Although emojis are meant to be light-hearted and fun, some people frown upon their use as frivolous. However, it's no doubt that they've made our digital communication richer and more precise. Happy emojing!?