Facebook Knows How You Laugh
Are you a “haha,” “hehe,” or “lol” person? Typically I’m an “lol” girl who mashes her keyboard with “HAHAHAHhahajakakjahaahkajkjjsdhfkajdsfk” to convey real, body-quaking laughter. If you thought your preference for online laughter was meaningless, think again. According to a post from the Facebook research team, “e-laughing is evolving” and the social network has been analyzing the data we use in its platform since the end of May. (Definitely hit the link for the deep dive; it’s a fascinating study.)
To likely no one’s surprise, the most common expression of e-laughing is “haha” followed by emoji. Facebook goes deeper yet into the nuances of who uses what sort of online laugh:
Age, gender and geographic location play a role in laughter type and length: young people and women prefer emoji, whereas men prefer longer hehes. People in Chicago and New York prefer emoji, while Seattle and San Francisco prefer hahas.
Most people stick with one type of e-laugh, while about 20 percent will switch between two. And while “haha” and “hehe” or even “hahaha” and “hahahahahahaha” and “hahahahhhhahahahaha” (a misspelled, elongated “haha” that most of us might interpret as “this is so funny I don’t care that these letters are in the wrong order”) might seem like they belong in the same category, there are subtle inferences to make about them each.
The six letter hahaha is also very common, and in general, the hahaers use longer laughter. The hahaers are also slightly more open than the hehe-ers to using odd number of letters, and we do see the occasional hahaas and hhhhaaahhhaas. The lol almost always stands by itself, though some rare specimens of lolz and loll were found. A single emoji is used 50% of the time, and it’s quite rare to see people use more than 5 identical consecutive emoji. Perhaps emoji offer a concise way to convey various forms of laughter?
If you’re a visual learner, thankfully Facebook broke out all the graphs and charts to illustrate how we laugh online.
Laughter Type by Gender
Laughter Type by Age
For more interesting information and graphs on how we laugh on the internet visit the original Facebook study!