Study suggests using emojis makes you appear more friendly — even at work

Emojis have come a long way from using a colon and closing parentheses to share a smile — a recent survey suggests that emojis can help convey a sense of being friendly and approachable using a digital interface, even in a professional environment. On World Emoji Day, July 17, Adobe shared the results of the Emoji Trend Report, a survey of 1,000 emoji users in the U.S. designed to highlight the now universal digital characters.

In the study, 81% agreed that emoji users seem friendlier and more approachable. While sharing hearts and yellow smiley faces may not feel quite as professional as traditional text, the survey suggests that emojis shouldn’t be left out of the workplace either. Nearly 80% said using an emoji increased likability, while 63% said emojis even positively impacts credibility at work.

In keeping with using emojis to appear more friendly, the survey highlighted the tears of joy emoji as the dominate favorite, followed by the red heart and face blowing a kiss among survey respondents. Most said they use emojis to lighten the mood — at around 93% — followed closely by “showing support” at 91%.

While the report highlights the positivity centered around emojis, most of the respondents — 65% — preferred using emojis to express emotions rather than making a phone call. Those numbers were even higher among members of Generation Z at 83%.

Emoji users agreed that the emojis could help communicate across language barriers and instantly share thoughts — but could be better. Around 78% said emojis should strive for more inclusivity, a major theme among the new emojis heading to iOS and Android with symbols for disabilities including hearing aids, seeing-eye dogs, and prosthetics. 

While many emojis allow for customizing options like skin color, in the survey, 73% said they wanted more customization options related to appearance and personal identity. The newest emojis also include a handful of gender-neutral characters. 

The survey also looked at the way emojis impact businesses — according to the survey, 44% are more likely to purchase a product if it’s advertised with an emoji, while more than half are more likely to open that mass email if there’s an emoji in the subject line.

The full 2019 Emoji Trend report is available online from Adobe.

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