A new study from Adobe sheds a little more light on what today’s emoji users think of using picture characters for communication.
Today, on World Emoji Day, the company has released results of a survey of 1,000 U.S. emoji users that provides insight to the most popular emojis and how they’re used in life, at work and even while shopping.
According to the findings, love, happiness and sadness were the top three emotions expressed through emojis. The respondents also said emojis when used at work can help impact likability, credibility and sincerity. Emojis also help some people convey emotions. Adobe reported that 65% of emoji users said they were “more comfortable” using emojis in text to express their emotions than on a phone call—a percentage that increased to 83% when asked of Gen Z respondents.
“Emojis have become a cultural phenomenon—shaping the way we express ideas and emotions across languages, friends and generations,” Adobe wrote in its report. “Emoji users believe emojis make conversations more fun and make people more approachable and likable. However, they overwhelmingly want more inclusive emojis that reflect themselves and look to the future as an opportunity for continued expansion and development.”
The survey comes right as the nonprofit body that governs the approval and usage of emojis worldwide is giving its own website a massive redesign to become more relevant to emoji users. Today, the Unicode Consortium unveiled a new look designed by Adobe that it hopes will help make its approval process more consumer friendly.
The past, present and future statuses of emojis were also explored in a new documentary that debuted this spring at Tribeca Film Festival. The film, Picture Character, featured linguists and other experts who talked about emojis’ rapid spread through culture along with how they’re approved by the Unicode Consortium.
And brands should take notice. Adobe’s survey also had some insight for marketers who want to be relevant. For example, 58% of respondents said emojis in a subject line of an email make them more likely to open a message, while 44% of respondents said they’re more likely to purchase products that are advertised with an emoji. A majority of respondents (61%) said they wants brands to use emojis that match their personalities, while about half (51%) said brands that use emojis in social media posts are more likely to get users to engage.
Emojis also matter for point of sale, too. Sixty-four percent of emoji users said they’d be “willing to make a purchase with an emoji.” The top three categories were meals, movie tickets and clothing.
There will soon be even more emojis to choose from, and that includes an array of more inclusive options. This week, Apple and Google both gave previews of the new emojis that will be added to their operating systems this fall. For Apple, an 59 additions will include same-sex and interracial couples and people with disabilities. (Waffles, sloths, yo-yos, guide dogs and kites will also be added to the mix.)
“Following Apple’s proposal to the Unicode Consortium last year to introduce more disability-themed emoji, a new guide dog, an ear with a hearing aid, wheelchairs, a prosthetic arm and a prosthetic leg will be available in the emoji keyboard,” Apple wrote in a blog post. “Celebrating diversity in all its many forms is integral to Apple’s values and these new options help fill a significant gap in the emoji keyboard.”