Most-used emoji in 2021

What’s your favorite?

The nonprofit Unicode Consortium, which sets standards for text and emoji, has released its list of this year’s most-used emoji (“emoji” is technically both singular and plural), and topping the list is “face with tears of joy.”

That is followed by “red heart,” “rolling on the floor laughing,” “thumbs up,” “loudly crying face,” “folded (or praying) hands,” “face blowing a kiss,” “face with hearts,” “smiling face with heart eyes,” and “smiling face with smiling eyes.”

Other popular non-smiley face emojis this year have been “party popper,” “fire,” and “person facepalming.”

Emoji that dropped out of the top 100 this year include “tiny dancer,” “talk to the hand,” and “lucky four leaf clover.”

And in a nod to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent vaccines, the relatively new “syringe” emoji jumped to No. 193 this year.

The Unicode Consortium says 92% of the world’s online population use emoji. As of September, there were 3,633 officially approved emoji, with 112 new ones added this year.

Emoji are widely used, but do not always convey the intended message, especially when using them in work-related communications.

Below is the Unicode Consortium’s rankings of most-used emoji in 2021:

The top 20 emoji, according to the nonprofit Unicode Consortium. (Courtesy Unicode Consortium)

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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