Lol to heh: Facebook explores how we express laughter online

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Aug 08, 2015 16:19 IST

What's your favourite way to laugh online? A guffaw (LOL)? A pithy "heh"? Or just a hearty "Haha"? Whatever your style, you can now see exactly how you compare to other people, thanks to Facebook.

The world's largest social network was inspired by a New Yorker blog post about the various ways we express laughter online.

"We analyzed de-identified posts and comments posted on Facebook in the last week of May with at least one string of characters matching laughter," they write on the official Facebook research blog.

Here's what they discovered:

"As denizens of the Internet will know, laughter is quite common: 15% of people included laughter in a post or comment that week. The most common laugh is haha, followed by various emoji and hehe. 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."

They also created this cool little pie chart of the various kinds of Facebook laughter and the percentage of people using each one:

Facebook's laughter chart.

Head to Facebook's research blog for many more laughter visualisations like this one.

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