💬 The Wrap
As the last few hours of the year unfurl, welcome to the final edition of the Emoji Wrap for 2021! New Year’s Eve emojis, anyone? 🥳🎆
As per recent years, December was full of digital outlets reflecting on the year-that-was for different platforms and their users. 🔎📅
This included both Unicode, who at the start of the month released a report on emoji use throughout 2021, and ourselves here at Emojipedia. 📊📰
Earlier today we published our now-annual recap of the top emoji trends on Twitter that we’ve reported on throughout the year, with a series of month-by-month visualizations that occasionally reach back over 10 years. 🧮📈
Drawing on a variety of different data sources, the Unicode research reported that the seemingly inescapable 😂 Face with Tears of Joy still reigning supreme as the world’s top emoji, despite us here at Emojipedia reporting that the 😭 Loudly Crying Face had finally overtaken it back in March of this year. 🤔❓
What’s at play here? A variety of possible factors, including differences in contexts and counting methods – we consider these differences in our own trends review, where we also reveal another peak for emoji use on Twitter, in part fuelled by the now-expected spike in Christmas emojis from mid-November onwards. 🔝🎄
Other data revelations come from dating app Tinder, where side-eyes ruled supreme, and mobile payment service Venmo, as analyzed by Quartz. 👀💸
Rounding out the final newsletter of the year we have new 🐕 Dog emoji support within Google's Emoji Kitchen feature, an academic investigation of the 🤌 Pinched Fingers emoji, a website that allows you to view different emojis to scale, and WhatsApp adding animation to more 💕 Heart emojis.
🔝 Top Emoji Twitter Trends of 2021
Reviewing over 386 million global tweets from throughout the year, here we detail some of the top emoji-related trends seen on Twitter in 2021. These include the 😭 Loudly Crying Face ending the year ahead of 😂 Face with Tears of Joy, new heights for the ✨ Sparkles emoji at the expense of the 🥺 Pleading Face, the initial rise of the 💉 Syringe emoji, and a look at how memes and pop culture events can shape emoji use. 🚩🧣
📊 The Most Frequently Used Emoji of 2021
Drawing on a wide variety of different data sources, Unicode's Emoji Subcommittee chairperson Jennifer Daniel and her team provide a further investigation into emoji use in 2021, with insights for each of Unicode's emoji subcategories.
Notably, the 😂 Face with Tears of Joy still reigns supreme in this study, suggesting that reports of its cancellation were quite inaccurate when additional platforms are taken into account alongside Twitter and Tiktok
💸 The most popular emoji used on Venmo in 2021
US-based mobile payment service Venmo allows its web-based users to access a public feed of the messages from roughly 50 thousand transactions each month, many of which feature emojis.
Quartz analyzed data from between December 2020 and November 2021, and here detail their findings, with several similarities with our own Twitter-based studies on the likes of 🎃 Halloween, 🦃 Thanksgiving, and 🎄 Christmas, but with less obvious weekday-based trends also revealed.
👀 2021 was a side-eye kind of year on Tinder
Emojis are a key part of flirting in the modern world. In their 2021 Year in Swipe review, the dating app Tinder reveals that the 👀 Eyes emoji saw a 40% global increase in use within profile bios across the year.
The platform also revealed that 💀 Skull and 🚩 Triangular Flag were amongst the most popular other emojis inclusions.
🎄 Holiday Emojis Are Coming
As has come to be expected, emojis such as 🎄 Christmas Tree, 🎅 Santa Claus, and 🎁 Wrapped Gift jump upward in use as the Christmas holidays approach each year.
This article from our own Emojipedia blog explores the use of these emojis on Twitter over the last ten years, while also discussing other Christmas-related emojis such as 2016's 🤶 Mrs. Claus and 2020's 🧑🎄 Mx Claus.
🧑🍳 Emoji Kitchen now supports Dogs & New 2021 Smileys
Following a recent Gboard update, Google's Emoji Kitchen sticker feature now supports 🐶 Dog Face, 🍌 Banana, 🦝 Raccoon, and 🎁 Wrapped Gift.
Plus, if you've access to the Android 12L beta, you can also access exaggerated combo designs for the new Emoji 14.0 smileys such as Melting Face and Face Holding Back Tears.
🤌 and its meanings: An emojical study
As part of their annual for-fun Holiday Paper Series, a group of researchers from Graz University of Technology's Computational Social Science Lab provides an academic deep-dive into the use of the 🤌 Pinched Fingers emoji on Twitter.
🦟🌞 Emoji to Scale
Inspired by seeing the 🐓 Rooster emoji tower over the 🚗 Automobile emoji, Javier Bórquez created this website that allows you to scroll through a variety of different emojis on a more-or-less scientifically-accurate scale, from 🦟 Mosquito to 🌞 Sun with Face.
💦🦵 The band Wet Leg's emoji keyboard origins
British band Wet Leg found great international success in 2021, with their self-titled debut album scheduled for April 2022.
In this interview, the band admits that playing around with their emoji keyboards lead them to place 💦 Sweat Droplets alongside 🦵 Leg, and the rest is 🇺🇸 United States alt-rock 📻 Radio history.
💓 WhatsApp is working on animating heart emojis
A recent WhatsApp beta update for both iOS and Android revealed that the messaging platform is looking to add the small animation it currently renders for a single ❤️ Red Heart to all the other various 💕 Heart emojis.
That's it for the final edition of the Emoji Wrap for the year! 🥳🎆
Thanks, as always, for your support throughout 2021 and your continued support into 2022. 🙏🙇
Remember that if you'd like to keep up-to-date with the latest emoji news as it happens, you can follow Emojipedia on Twitter, as well as the members of our Emojipedia team:
- 🚢 Our Chief Emoji Officer Jeremy Burge
- 📚 Our Senior Emoji Lexicographer Jane Solomon
- 🙋♂️ And me, our Deputy Emoji Officer Keith Broni
Stay safe, and ✨Happy New Year✨!