The laugh-cry emoji may be uncool, but it’s still the most-used emoji of 2021

An iPhone screen showing rows of emoji inside the messages app
  • The laugh-cry emoji, or ????, is the most-used emoji in the world, according the Unicode Consortium.
  • In fact, the 10 most-used emoji haven’t changed much since 2019. 
  • The consortium, which votes on the emoji added to phones each year, includes Apple and Google.

The laugh-cry emoji may be considered deeply uncool, but it’s still the most-used emoji in the world. 

That’s according to new data from the Unicode Consortium, the organization responsible for encoding universal characters for the web, including the emoji that appear on smartphones and computers.

Unicode found that 92% of the online population worldwide use emoji, and that the laugh-cry emoji — technically known as “Tears of Joy” — accounts for 5% of that use. 

Here are the 10 most-used emoji worldwide: ????  ❤️  ????  ????  ????  ????  ????  ????  ????  ???? .

It turns out that emoji usage actually hasn’t changed much since 2019, which is the last time the Unicode Consortium published this data. Back then, ????  and ❤️  were also the most-used emoji in the world — in fact, “Tears of Joy” has reigned supreme, at least on iOS and macOS devices, since at least 2017.

Still, there are other symbols rapidly gaining in popularity this year: The ????  jumped 88 spots to No. 25; the ???? ranks at No. 48, up from 139; and ???? , which was only added in 2018, is now the 14th-most-popular emoji, according to the Unicode Consortium. 

The consortium — which is made up of members including Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft — votes annually on the new emoji, adding over 100 new characters to iPhones and Android devices each year. At last count, there were a whopping 3,663 emoji in total.