French really is the language of love, at least if emoji usage is anything to go by. [Note, for those living in the stone age, an emoji is any kind of pictograph used in instant messaging – made popular in Japan.]
In fact, analysts have found that French speakers send the heart emoji more than four times as often as the international average – and three times more than the next most “heart-y” language.
(The graph above shows how much the French have fallen in love with the heart. Graph/Switkey)
Indeed, a whopping 55 percent of all emojis sent in French are hearts, versus just 8 percent in US English.
The experts at Swiftkey, a company that makes smartphone keyboards, were able to track private and public emoji use through what users type in text, Twitter and other messages.
(An example, perhaps, of a typical French text message…)
The study went through more than a billion emoji used by people speaking 16 different languages worldwide between October 2014 and January 2015.
They found that French was the only language where the smiley wasn't the most commonly occurring icon.
(The graph above shows how France differs from other popular languages. Graph/Switkey)
Analysts organized the emoji into 60 different categories, such as happy faces, romantic, money and raunchy.
The most popular emojis worldwide were happy faces, sad faces, hearts, hand gestures and romantic ones. Reading materials, like books and newspapers, were the least used overall.
All languages tended to be more positive than negative, with 70 percent use of positive emoji use over 15 percent negative emoji use. The French were most often positive here too at 86 percent, while American Spanish speakers were most negative.