Nicolas Loufrani: Top Emoji Facts and Statistics in 2023

Nicolas Loufrani is the son of smiley face creator Franklin Loufrani, who created the Smiley brand logo as part of a new ‘feel-good’ campaign featured on the front page of France Soir in 1972 – with the smiley face owner using the logo as a symbol of positivity and optimism. Ultimately, Franklin Loufrani’s smiley face paved the way for the creation of the graphical emoticon, with his son Nicolas creating from 1997 different versions of the Smiley logo, each with its own expression or belonging to a category of words.

The first graphical emoticons were registered by Nicolas Loufrani at the US Copyright Office in 1997 before being released online in 1998. His goal was to create a universal language that could be understood by all. Although Nicolas Loufrani isn’t considered the emoji creator or owner, in a 2017 interview with Vice he said that emojis had been inspired by Smileys, with their popularity snowballing since 2010 – the year Unicode started incorporating them into its protocol for all members, including major networks and tech manufacturers.

Over the years, emojis have grown to become a familiar part of life online, with emoticons and ideograms used in web pages and electronic messages. Today, emojis exist in various forms and genres, ranging from facial expressions and everyday objects to places, animals, types of weather and more, as they were originally sorted in the official Smiley dictionary created by Nicolas Loufrani. Emojis are used to convey messages, express emotions and add personality to messages, tweets and texts.

Emoji Statistics and Facts

According to a 2023 report published by Amra & Elma:

  • Over the past three years, emoji use increased by 775%
  • Today, more than 3,000 different emojis are available
  • 92% of millennials use emojis every day
  • Compared to men, women are 16% more likely to use emojis
  • Using emojis in social media posts can increase engagement by 25.4%

In recent years, emoji use has exploded. It is not just millennials who are using them but people of all ages. Even brands are connecting with audiences by using emojis, with Amra & Elma reporting a 775% increase in emoji use in business messages.

Emoji use can vary considerably from one country to the next. Take for example the United States, where the most popular emoji is the smiling face with sunglasses. In France, on the other hand, the heart eyes emoji reigns supreme. Nevertheless, despite regional preferences, the emoji still presents a universal means of expressing messages and emotion that can be used to overcome language barriers.

A study by Pew Research Center revealed that emojis have become a staple method of communication among millennials, with 92% using emojis daily. Their use is not confined to social media posts and personal texts, with emojis showing up in professional work emails and even resumes. Emoji are essentially used to convey emotion and ideas, with some experts suggesting that they can even be more effective at conveying specific messages than words.

A small digital icon, the emoji can be used to fill in the gaps where words fall short. They can also help to lighten the mood of online exchanges. Over the years emojis have evolved, extending from their use in personal communications into the professional sphere.

Emojis are now commonplace in workplace communications. According to a report published by Statista in March 2022, more than three quarters of US workers felt the need to use emojis, with a quarter of respondents reporting that they used them often. Meanwhile, a global survey conducted in June 2022 by Statista revealed another positive aspect of emoji use in the workplace, with employees suggesting that they could communicate faster and with more nuance by using emojis in workplace messages.