10 Most Popular and Widely Used Emoticons in the World

10 Most Popular and Widely Used Emoticons in the World

Did you know? Every July 17th is World Emoji Day! You may already know what an emoji is, but do you know its meaning? Emoji means 'picture word' in Japanese. The design and release date of emojis vary by vendor; for example, the Heart emoticon has been around since 1993 but was only officially included as an emoji in 2015.

New emojis are often added every year. And in 2020, most platforms already support the new emoji designs and additions.

Actually, the use of emojis can change at any time, as emojis can become popular due to trends or because they are very relatable, so many people use them. However, below are the 10 most popular emoticons as of 2023.

Heavy Black Heart

The Unicode name (standard information technology for encoding, representation, and handling of consistent text expressed in most writing systems in the world) for this emoticon is Heavy Black Heart, even though its color is red.

That's why there are other names for this emoji, such as Red Heart, Love Heart, or just Heart. Note: the Unicode character name existed before emojis had colors! So, the term or name of this emoji actually refers to the character of a solid black heart '❤︎'.

This classic love heart emoji is used to express love and gratitude and is displayed in various shades of red on most platforms. On Snapchat, this emoji is displayed next to a friend's account name when you and they have been #1 Best Friends for two weeks in a row.

Face with Pleading Eyes

This is j-hope BTS's favorite emoticon. Face with Pleading Eyes, or Begging, Glossy Eyes, Simp, Pleading Face, is its official name. But, I often call it a pleading face or puppy eyes. Depicted with a face with furrowed brows, slightly frowning, and large 'puppy' eyes, as if begging.

This emoticon also represents adoration or feelings touched by loving gestures. Psst, Pleading Face is the third most popular emoji used on Twitter.

Smiling Face

Have you ever felt sad but had to accept it gracefully? The Smiling Face with Tear emoticon is perfect for describing your feelings. A smiling face with a single teardrop. This emoticon is actually intended to be used and show that someone is touched, relieved, or grateful. But it can also be used to express certain feelings of smiling through pain.

The Smiling Face with Tear is even newer than the puppy eyes above. It was approved as part of Unicode 13.0 in 2020 and added to Emoji 13.0 in the same year. But, the cool thing is that this emoticon immediately occupies the third most used position by people! This shows that everyone is a sad boy.


This sparkling emoji is called Sparkles. You can also call it Glitter or Shiny. Generally, this emoticon is depicted as a cluster of three 'star' groups with four-pointed angles and a yellow color. One of the Sparkles is large and the others are small. Sparkles are different from the ⭐ Star emoji, ya!

This emoticon is commonly used to express various positive sentiments, such as love, happiness, beauty, gratitude, and joy. This emoji can represent real stars in the sky, or it can also represent other sparkling things like jewelry and fireworks.

Face with Tears of Joy

The laughing crying emoji, officially known as Face with Tears of Joy, or simply Laughing Crying, and even shorter LOL, has been used by almost everyone. Have you ever experienced, seen, or heard something that made you burst out laughing?

This yellow-faced emoji captures it perfectly with its raised eyebrows, wide laughter, smiling eyes, and tears indicating how hard you are laughing. Originally intended to express something enjoyable and hilarious, its meaning has shifted a bit, as it can now also be used to mock (laughing at someone else's foolishness, for example) or even as a response to extreme sadness, where you feel like laughing and crying at the same time. Perhaps because of its varied uses, it ranks as the 5th most used emoji in the world.


This is the Fire emoji, but it can also be called Flame, Hot, Lit, or Snapstreak. Fire was approved as part of Unicode 6.0 in 2010 and added to Emoji 1.0 in 2015.

A flame is produced when something is burning. It is depicted as a flickering flame with gradations of red, orange, and yellow. The Fire emoji is commonly used for various metaphorical expressions related to fire, including slang for 'hot' (meaning someone attractive, cool, handsome, pretty, sexy, etc.) or 'lit' (meaning cool, awesome, etc.).

On the social media platform Snapchat, if you see the Fire emoji next to someone's username, it is called Snapstreak. It is a kind of trophy that indicates you and that person have been sending messages back and forth for more than three consecutive days.

Smiling Face with Hearts

The Smiling Face with Hearts emoji, also known as In Love Face, was approved as part of Unicode 11.0 in 2018 with the name "Smiling Face with Smiling Eyes and Three Hearts" and added to Emoji 11.0 in 2018.

The meaning of this emoji is very simple. It shows a face with smiling eyes, a closed smile, rosy cheeks, and several hearts floating around the head. What could it represent? It's definitely not a sad expression.

This emoji expresses various happy feelings, especially the feeling of falling in love. Although Unicode indicates that there are three hearts, on other platforms, there could be more.

Smiling Face with Smiling Eyes

The name of this emoji is Smiling Face with Smiling Eyes, but it is also known as Happy Face, Smiley Face, or simply Smile. The Smiling Face with Smiling Eyes emoji was approved as part of Unicode 6.0 in 2010 and added to Emoji 1.0 in 2015.

If described, this emoji has a yellow face with 'smiling' eyes and a closed and wide smile, as well as slightly blushed cheeks. Often, this emoji is used to express true and warm happiness, just positive feelings.

Fun fact: on Snapchat, if this emoji appears next to someone's name, it indicates that you frequently send messages to that person. However, they are not your best friend on Snapchat, just someone you chat with occasionally but frequently enough, not as intense as with your best friend or significant other.

Mask Wearing

What is the most suitable and frequently used emoji during the pandemic? Yes, the face with a mask emoji! Actually, this emoji has been around for a long time and used to imply sickness in general. But, the mask-wearing emoji rose again in 2020 as one of the most popular emojis used in tweets about the Corona virus.

However, since this emoji used to depict a sick person, its face looks sad, weak, and lethargic... That's why it is not suitable for the new normal recommended during the pandemic. The theory that using a mask is only for sick people is no longer synchronized.

Therefore, in October 2020, iOS, Android, and Samsung launched a new mask-wearing face emoji with a smiling face! It can be seen from the eyes that are no longer looking down and the cheeks that blush, indicating that the face behind the mask is happy.

Bubble Tea

Due to the popularity of bubble tea or boba drink, there is an emoji dedicated to this sweet drink. This emoji is called Bubble Tea or Boba. Bubble tea is a tea-based drink that is popular in Taiwan, but now can be found worldwide.

Usually, this drink is made from tea, milk, flavorings, and sugar. The drink is served with tapioca pearls called boba, served in a plastic cup with a wide straw.

The Bubble Tea emoji was approved as part of Unicode 13.0 in 2020 and added to Emoji 13.0 in 2020. And, this emoji and Bubble Tea emoji are new entries on Apple which are available on iOS14. This emoji was released along with other emojis such as Transgender, Mask-Wearing Faces (faces wearing masks like people did during the pandemic), and many more.

Those are the ten most used emojis in the world. There are emojis that we have known for a long time, and there are also newly added emojis. Can you imagine what emojis will exist in the future? And what emojis will be liked and frequently used in the future?

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