The Unicode Consortium has unveiled the most popular emoji of 2021, and noted that 92% of the world's Internet population use emoji.

According to the organization, the Tears of Joy (😂) accounts for more than 5% of all emoji used during 2021. The second-ranked emoji is a red heart (❤️), followed by a laughing emoji (🤣).

The ten most popular emoji of 2021 also include:

  1. 👍 Thumbs up
  2. 😭 Loudly crying face
  3. 🙏 Folded hands
  4. 😘 Face blowing a kiss
  5. 🥰 Smiling face with hearts
  6. 😍 Smiling face with heart-eyes
  7. 😊 Smiling face with smiling eyes

This collection of emoji with mostly positive vibes looks familiar since it does not differ from the previous top ten of 2019 that much, the Unicode Consortium says. Moreover, the top 100 emoji accounted for about 82% of the emoticons used.

Interestingly, flags represent the largest group of emoji, but they were used the least. Another least popular category of emoji was mammals.

What Is Today? The Birthday of the First Smiley Face
On September 19, 1982, Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman first proposed the use of three consecutive characters: colon, hyphen, and closing parenthesis to denote a “smiling face” in a text that is typed on a computer.

The most commonly used emoji were those that have multiple meanings, like a rocket ship (🚀), which symbolizes progress made as well as anticipation of changes.

Unicode regularly adds new emoji variations to the emoji collection to show the diversity of the world. The collection currently has 3,663 emoticons.