‘Haha’ replaces ‘lol’ as Facebook’s preferred ‘laughter’
If you still “lol” at jokes online then you might be in the minority. A new report from Facebook into how users express laughter shows that “haha” and its variants are by far the most common terms used on the social network.
They accounted for 51.4% of mirth in the anonymized comments and posts looked at by Facebook’s data team, with laughter emoji claiming 33.7% and “hehe” and its cognates 13.1%.
The once-mighty “lol” only appeared in 1.9 percent of the text sampled by Facebook a pretty staggering fall for an expression that was once synonymous with online txt speak.
Although not surprising for such a venerable term, “lol” proved slightly more popular with older users.
Differences between generations were not heavily pronounced, but it was emoji that were most popular with users with the youngest median age, while “haha,” “hehe,” and “lol” were favored by progressively older individuals.
The data also showed that emoji were more popular among female users, with “haha” showing a small male bias, and “hehe” distributed nearly evenly among the genders.
As Facebook’s researchers explain, “The most common are the four-letter hahas and hehes. The six-letter hahaha is also very common, and in general, the haha-ers use longer laughter.
The haha-ers are also slightly more open than the hehe-ers to using odd number of letters, and we do see the occasional hahaas and hhhhaaahhhaas.
The lol almost always stands by itself, though some rare specimens of lolz and loll were found. A single emoji is used 50 percent of the time, and it’s quite rare to see people use more than five identical consecutive emoji.”