The Emoji Effect

In celebration of the cultural phenomenon of emoji, Adobe is exploring the impact of this emerging digital language on our lives, relationships and communications ahead of World Emoji Day.

In a study focused on emoji users, Adobe surveyed 1,000 U.S. general population (ages 16 – 73) who use emojis at least weekly to better understand their emoji preferences and usage, particularly when it comes to the development of emojis that they would like to see.

Emojis have become a cultural phenomenon – shaping the way we express ideas and emotions across languages, friends and generations. Emoji users believe emojis make conversations more fun and make people more approachable and likeable. However, they overwhelmingly want more inclusive emojis that reflect themselves and look to the future as an opportunity for continued expansion and development.

  • 62% I want to make conversations more fun
  • 42% Emojis better communicate my thoughts and feelings than words alone do
  • 31% I feel more connected to the Using emojis is faster than typing people I frequently text or online out words message when expressing myself using emojis in addition to words
  • 31% Using emojis is faster than typing out words
  • 30% Emojis paint a clearer picture than words

65% of emoji users are more comfortable expressing emotions through emojis, rather than through phone conversations.

Text messages remain the communication form of choice for emoji use. For social media apps, emoji use on Facebook is much higher compared to Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter.

Emoji users include emojis in their text or online messaging nearly half of the time, and use emojis exclusively almost a third of the time.

57% of males say they most often use emojis with their significant others/partners, compared to 52% of females. Males (24%) also say they use emojis more often with their coworkers compared to females (14%). However, 43% of females use emojis with their children, compared to only 28% of males.

When emojis are used at work, the majority of emoji users feel they positively impact likability and make positive news feel more sincere.

Emojis’ ability to communicate across language barriers and instantly share thoughts and ideas are the greatest benefits to emoji users.

The majority of users (76%) wish there were more emojis available, specifically emojis representing foods, drinks and snacks.

The majority of emoji users (71%) are likely to customize their emojis and wish they had more emoji customization options to better reflect their personal identity.

Half of emoji users say hair style or color options would better reflect their personal appearance.

Over half of emoji users are more likely to engage with brands using emojis online.

More than half of emoji users say they are more likely to open emails from brands that include emojis in the subject line.

Emoji users are interested in purchasing items via emojis, and say they’d be most likely to purchase a meal.

78% of emoji users agree that emojis should continue to strive for inclusivity.

Emojis’ best days are ahead – more than three-fifths of emoji users agree they will be better developed and more progressive in the next five years.