Emoji use is growing at an exponential rate, especially amongst the kids, a new study believes. TalkTalk and Bangor University Professor of Linguistics Vyv Eyans have quizzed 2,000 Brits on their use of the colourful emoticons, we were told today, because that's the sort of important, eye-opening research humans are doing in 2015.
Four in ten of us have sent messages entirely made up of emoji, claims the study, while 62% of folk are using emoji more than they were a year ago. Only 2 in 10 people can put enough nuance and meaning into their words not to rely on the chunky icons at all. Bunch o' squares.
But there's more: 72% of 18-25 year-olds find it easier to express their feelings with emoji than actual words, apparently. Perhaps Emoji Dick will soon appear on the A-Level syllabus.
The study digs into the most popular emoji too. The familiar smiley face comes out on top, with crying with laughter face second and love heart third. Beaming red cheeks face and thumbs up round out what is a very positive top five.
The cynic inside us says TalkTalk just went out and found the first "linguists professor" they could find, handed him some cash and asked him to answer a series of inquiries by repeating the question in the answer.
"Do you think the majority of digital communication will feature emoji in future?" they maybe asked, to which Evans said "the majority of digital communication will feature emoji in future".
We blame Andy Murray.