Facebook Study On Laughter Shows Who Uses 'Haha,' 'LOL' The Most, And Where They're From

Facebook
Facebook did an analysis of how people laugh when posting and commenting, and "LOL" isn't as popular as it once was. mkhmarketing CC BY 2.0

Laughing on the Internet is a tricky business. There are so many different options, it’s sometimes hard to choose the right one. Maybe you prefer the simple “haha.” Perhaps you like to go with “LOL” to show you’re hip. You might even try to throw a “tee hee” or a “heh” in there to mix it up a little. Do you know what kind of Internet laugher you are? Well, Facebook did some research, and it turns out you probably fall into the “haha” category.

Facebook is a place that sees a lot of written laughter. From status posts to comments, and everything in between, people express their laughter on Facebook all day, every day. In a recent study that the social media giant conducted on its own users, it looked at the kind of “e-laughs” people were writing and how often they wrote them. It found that over the course of one week, 15 percent of users who posted or commented used at least one e-laugh, written as “LOL,” “haha,” and the like.

Breaking that down, the company found that  46 percent of people posted just a single laugh during the week, while 85 percent posted fewer than five laughs a week. It also broke laughs down by total and unique laughs — unique being two different types of laugh. Fifty-two percent of people used a single laugh, like LOL, while 20 percent of people mixed it up and used two different unique laughs, such as LOL and haha.

Seeing as most people used a single type of laugh, Facebook split them up into four groups: people who used “haha,” people who used LOL, people who used “hehe,” and people who used an emoji to express their laughter. The people who used “haha” made up 51.4 percent of the group, while emoji users came in second with 33.7 percent, and “hehe” users in third with 13.1 percent. Only 1.9 percent of people used LOL.

When it comes to the ages of these people, those who write“haha” and its variations were typically between 13 and 70 years old, which explains why it’s the most popular way to express laughter.  Meanwhile, younger Facebook posters were most likely to use emojis, while LOLs were written most by older generations. With regard to gender, men used “haha” more than women, but women were more apt to use an emoji than men were.

Curious about where in the country these laughers are? The study found that the highest percentage of “haha” users were in Seattle, while Chicagoans used emojis more than any other big city. “Haha” and “hehe” are used more often on the West Coast, while Midwestern and Southern states are most fond of LOL. Emojis are rarely used on the West Coast, but have high appearance rates on the Facebook pages of Floridians.

Although Facebook’s study isn’t a definitive look at how laughter is expressed on the Internet, it offers a glimpse into just how far expressing it has come since the inception of Internet communication.

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