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Curiosities about the reactions with emojis that came to WhatsApp

WhatsApp added the emoji reactions. This provides the ability to quickly reply to a message with those icons, to save time and add an emotional and dynamic touch to the conversation.


Psychologist Lara Jones, a professor at Wayne State University in Michigan who researches topics that include the perception of valence of emojis, collaborated with the platform to analyze the use of these graphics on different platforms.

Messages on WhatsApp are encrypted from end to end, which means that no one can see them, not even the messaging service, which is why, according to the company, they turned to this specialist who bHe based his studies on multiple reports carried out over the years with data on the use of emojis on different platforms.


The way in which we use these graphs are indicators of culture, the way of seeing the world and much more, explains the researcher in dialogue with TechMarkup.

“More extroverted people tend to use emojis more often because these images reveal how they feel,” Jones said.


And he added “people tend to use funnier emojis, such as the smiling face, the face with heart eyes or the one with tears of laughter, with those who feel closest to them.”

Besides, He said that the thumbs-up graphic is often used in more professional contexts. And he also clarified that it is usually used more by men than by women, according to some reports.

“The most used emojis in a given country reflect the degree of emotional expressiveness of a culture as well as the value given to affections”, Jones analyzed.


And he added: “there is a report that analyzes the most used emojis by country, and in Argentina it is the face with a heart, followed by the red heart and then the face with tears of emotion, which in the case of Brazil is in first place. ; followed by the face with heart eyes and finally the red heart. That is, the same three emojis, only in a different order.

In this way he sought to exemplify how there are certain aspects that are shared across different cultures. Of course, certain circumstances with a global impact, such as the pandemic, also affect this type of language. In fact, in this context, the vaccine emoji emerged and the chinstrap emoji, whose use increased, was updated.

The reactions with emojis that came to WhatsApp and their meanings

In addition to analyzing certain characteristics of graphics in communication in general, Jones shared some interesting data in relation to the 6 emojis in particular that WhatsApp added to share reactions.

1. Thumbs up: Most people assume that men use this emoji more often, according to a recent survey. Malaysians particularly like the “thumbs up” emoji, using it 5.6% of the time, compared to 1.6% for the global average use of emoji.

two. Happiness tears: This emoji is the most used by users around the world, and it is more likely to be used by women than men. When messaging, Americans and Brits were more likely to use it (>15% of emoji use) than Brazilians (<5%).

3. Hands together/Thanks:Of the six emojis, this is the one with the most diverse meaning across different cultures. In Indonesia and Japan it is used to express thanks or to say “please”, while in other cultures it is used to express a prayer or to shake hands,” explained Jones. Overall, use of the thanking hands emoji by Brazilians is more than double the average.

4.Surprised: The surprised emoji is flexible depending on the context and can be used as “Wow, that’s amazing!” or “Wow, I’m in shock!”, exemplified the specialist.

Within a sample of Malaysian college students, this emoji was interpreted as shocked (55.7%) rather than surprised (41.4%). In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Gen Z and millennial women use the “surprised” emoji more often than men.

5. Heart: The red heart emoji accounted for about 9% of total emoji usage globally. Overall, French speakers use the heart emoji 4 times more than the average global user

6. Sad face crying: “Women rate this emoji as much more negative than men,” said Jones.

He added: “Women perceive emojis with sad and angry faces in a more negative way than men. It is similar to what happens with facial expression, women are more sensitive to negative and ambiguous emojis like the emoji of sleep. On the other hand, he added that in both the United Kingdom and the United States the sad crying face is frequently used.

On the other hand, he concluded by saying that “the use of emojis increased a lot during the pandemic due to the growth of virtuality.” Emojis are already a new installed language.


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