The world’s most used emoji in 2021

Written by CNN Staff

Emojis are widely used by millions of people on a daily basis.

While the chat messenger app can be used to talk to your friends without even typing a word, it’s the emoji image that can be used in one sentence. And it’s these simple pictographs — yes, you can now send a pouting shark, a smiling cat, a cuddly teddy bear and a funny face to your group — that make communication among people super easy.

Each emoji is different, but often based on some basic image pattern, and the ones people send all look the same. This infographic compiled by Kiplinger’s magazine compared a global average of emoji use among the twenty most popular countries to emoji use in the US in 2021, and the results may surprise you.

The US is to be the biggest market for emoji use as it remains number one in the world for smartphone penetration, and skews older compared to other countries. According to the infographic, by the end of 2021, the population of smartphones in the US will number 400 million. However, the emoji that most Americans use are traditional kisses and another emoji looking like an emoticon is the same, giving each stereotype for a hiccup. (While they are among the most common emoji used, it should be noted that they are not the most popular in the US).

See which emoji are the most-used in your country below and which emoji people in your country send the most:

“The US will be the biggest country in emoji use as a percentage of all uses”

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Part of Kiplinger’s prediction comes from the still relatively low number of Android users versus iPhone users. So while Apple users were the ones to tip the scales towards iPhone-based apps, they were also the iPhone users sending the most emoji. Of course, one of the biggest reasons Android is more prevalent than iPhone is the Android phone-killer known as Google. The rumor that Google will launch its own phone to compete with Apple’s iPhone did begin circulating late last year. Still, this may have translated to iPhone users sending more emoji than Android users, but this may not be the case after 2021.

While smartphones may overtake first-generation SMS technology, we can’t forget about the benefits SMS has for instant messaging. SMS lets people send messages to one another in a time-constrained context, where typically the emphasis is on speed. Omitting names may also be easier to understand on digital messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger and Instagram, but that’s something we’ll see change in the coming years.

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