RIP "Lol"? Facebook Data Suggests the Expression Is on Its Way Out
For fans of old school Internet abbreves, this is no laughing matter: "lol" may be on its way out.
According to a new report issued by Facebook (and inspired by this piece about online laughter from The New Yorker), people—or at least, Facebook users—tend to use “haha” to indicate laughter on the world wide interwebs far more frequently than any other form of expression.
Facebook combed through posts and comments from the last week of May (don’t worry: they note that everything had been “de-identified”), and, as The Verge explains, found that 51.4 percent of the expressions of glee contained a “haha” or related term. Laughing emojis were the second most common, appearing in 33.7 percent of posts, and “hehe” took third place, appearing in 13.1 percent of instances of written laughter. Poor “lol,” on the other hand, accounted for just 1.9 percent of jovial messages exchanged on the social network.
The Facebook team took it a step further, determining that “lol” devotees skewed a bit older and—not surprisingly—emoji-only pronouncements tended to be made by the site's youngest users.
These discoveries surrounding the decline of “lol” represent just a tiny portion of what Facebook found when it broke down the data even further.
“As denizens of the Internet will know, laughter is quite common: fifteen percent of people included laughter in a post or comment that week. The most common laugh is haha, followed by various emoji and hehe,” the researchers write. “Age, gender, and geographic location play a role in laughter type and length: young people and women prefer emoji, whereas men prefer longer hehes. People in Chicago and New York prefer emoji, while Seattle and San Francisco prefer hahas.”
For more on the latest in virtual laughter, click on over to Facebook for the full report.
[h/t: The Verge]
All charts via Facebook