‘Grin’ is the most popular emoji, comprising 15.4 per cent of the total symbols in the study, followed by ‘heart’ and ‘love’ emojis.
Using a popular method app, “Kika Emoji Keyboard”, available in 60 languages, researchers from University of Michigan analysed millions of messages to see if emoji use was universal or differed based on user location and culture.
“Emojis are everywhere. They are becoming the ubiquitous language that bridges everyone across different cultures,” said Wei Ai, doctoral student at University of Michigan.
Twenty per cent of messages of French include at least one symbol, followed by Russians and Americans.
“Countries with high levels of individualism use more happy emojis. Countries where ties between individuals are integrated and tight use more emojis expressing sadness, anger and negative feelings,” the findings showed.
As French are perceived romantic, they mostly use 'heart' emojis while people from other countries prefer face-related emojis.
“Our report shows that users from different countries can have various preferences to use emojis. The rank of emojis shown in the input methods should be country-aware to users,” said associate professor Qiaozhu Mei.
The research, presented at Ubicomp conference 2016 in Germany recently, input methods could be developed to suggest relevant 'next-to-use' emojis to users.