Facebook recently released some exciting data on the use of different types of “written laughter,” beginning with “hehe” and “haha” and including “lol” and emojis. The findings are surprising, as according to the data, “lol” is waning in popularity and is being replaced by “haha” and emojis.
What’s trending in laughter on Facebook?
Facebook’s new data revolves around a recent article from Sarah Larson, a reporter for the New Yorker. Larson with her article HAHAHA Vs HEHEHE explored the growth and social nuances of “written” laughter in the digital age.
“The terms of e-laughter — ‘ha ha,’ ‘ho ho,’ ‘hee hee,’ ‘heh’ — are implicitly understood by just about everybody,” but a new term ‘hehe’ has gained importance recently,” said Larson.
Though Larson’s piece was exciting, Facebook focused on the hard data found in the posts and comments to analyze what people use most often. The social networker presented the results in graph form after analyzing data from the last week of May with “at least one string of characters matching laughter.”
Facebook found that almost 15% of the users had used one or the other form of laughter in a comment or original post. According to the data, HaHa was the most common expression used on an average by 51.4%, followed by emoji at 33.7% and the HeHe at 13.1%. Surprisingly, “lol” was used fewer than 2% of the time.
Use differ by gender and location
That men and women like to use diverse modes to express amusement is another interesting finding. “Haha” and “HeHe” is the most common among men while women prefer emojis. The use of the written laughter also varied by location.
Facebook found that haha and hehe were more popular on the West Coast while emoji were the preferred choice in the Midwest, and lol was most often used by those living in southern states.
“Presidential campaigns, take note: the battleground states of Ohio and Virginia are haha states, while the candidates’ emoji games will surely be key in determining who emerges victorious in Florida,” the social networker said.
To keep the things simple, Facebook considered only four categories — “haha,” “lol,” “hehe,” and emoji’s. But, the social networker has also considered various combinations of “haha,” including “hahaha,” “haahhhaa,” etc.
It must be noted that Facebook has not used private data from Messenger for the study, suggesting the findings may not completely reveal the full e-laugh picture.