Facebook: ‘Haha’ trumps ‘LOL’

Haha-ers (51.4%), then there are the emoji lovers (33.7%), the hehe-ers (12.7%), and finally, the lol-ers (1.9%).

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Facebook has published data on the different types of “written laughter,” from “haha” and “hehe” to “lol” and emojis.

Facebook’s muse, was Sarah Larson, a reporter for the New Yorker who recently has written an article called HAHAHA VS. HEHEHE, which explored the growth and social nuances of “written” laughter in the digital age, according to a statement from Facebook.

Facebook turned its attentions to hard data — covering posts and comments — to see what people use most often. After analyzing data from the last week of May that contained “at least one string of characters matching laughter,” Facebook has presented the results in graph form.

Facebook said "As the pie chart shows, the vast majority of people in our dataset are haha-ers (51.4%), then there are the emoji lovers (33.7%), the hehe-ers (12.7%), and finally, the lol-ers (1.9%)."

It added "emergence of the peculiar hehe, which is "poised upon us by the youth." Are the hehes really a more youthful expression than hahas? The data say: not so! We found that across all age groups, from 13 to 70, the most common laughs are still haha, hahaha, hahahaha, and only then followed by hehe. If hehe is not particularly favored younger people, are there other distinctive ways youth express themselves? To answer this we collected all emoji, hahas, hehes and even the lols, and looked at the distribution of ages."

This plot shows that the median person (the dashed line) that uses emoji is slightly younger than the median haha person, but both of these are younger than the people using hehes and lols!

Ms. Larson, Facebook added, also suggests that a ha is like a lego piece, which people use to convey different "levels" of laughter, ranging from the polite haha to a deranged hahahahahahaha.

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