These emojis got a major digital thumbs-up this year. An Irish emoji expert has revealed the 10 most popular emojis for 2023, which he believes reflect positively on digital discourse as a whole.

The favourite emojis were overwhelmingly upbeat, according to Keith Broni, 32, the editor-in-chief of the reference site Emojipedia.

The top five were:

  • Tears-of-joy or crying-with-laughter face
  • Rolling-on-the-floor laughing face
  • Red heart
  • Prayer sign (to express thanks)
  • Loudly crying emoji (used for hysterical laughter)

“The most-used emojis of 2023 were a selection of the absolute classics from the emoji keyboard,” Broni told South West News Service.

Since their inception into the online lexicon in 2008, emojis have become increasingly prevalent in online communication, claims the Dublin resident, who feels this proves that pictorial discourse is as important to Gen Z as it is to older generations.

Indeed, based on 7 billion tweets over the past 10 years, emoji use has never been higher as one in five posts reportedly used them, per Emojipedia.

The crying-with-laughter face was also the most-used symbol on X, per analyses by Emojipedia.

Meanwhile, of the cartoon symbols released this year, the most popular were the pink, gray and blue hearts and the shaking face.

Notably absent from the rankings was the ubiquitous thumbs-up sign. Perhaps Zoomers finally managed to cancel the symbol due to its alleged “rude” and “hostile” connotations.

Broni believes the list indicates that people “are continuing to express positivity among their friends and family.” It also represents a welcome respite from the trend of strangers slinging “hate speech and misinformation on social media, he added.

However, as is evident on social media, crying and laughing emojis are often used to mock others and are not solely for indicating innocent mirth.

Ever the optimist, Broni predicts that the sunnier emojis will dominate the list next year as well.

“With its track record, I believe ‘crying with laughter’ will remain at No. 1 next year,” he declared. “Other laughter emojis will continue to be the most popular across the world.”

Interestingly, the smiley face — the original poster child for positivity — has been on the decline over the past few years, per Emojipedia.

Ultimately, Broni believes that emojis will be an integral part of online communication for the foreseeable future.

“Emojis’ global popularity has continued to grow year-on-year, and 2023 has been no different,” he said. “They’re an incredibly powerful communication tool that people use to better express themselves.”

The top 10 for 2023 are:

1. Crying with laughter

2. Rolling on the floor laughing

3. Red heart

4. Folded hands

5. Loudly crying

6. Heart eyes

7. Sparkles

8. Fire

9. Smiling face with smiling eyes

10. Smiling face with hearts