As per research carried out by social giant, Facebook itself; almost 51% users express their laughter on with a simple ‘Ha Ha’ instead of ‘Lolz’. Emoji was the second biggest way of communicating a laugh at 33.7% | hehe represented 13.1% | meanwhile 1.9% said “lol”.
The US-wide study, entitled The Not-So-Universal Language of Laughter, and conducted in response to a New Yorker article on the subject of “e-laughter”, had assembled data on the way de-identified users express jollity. The results were further categorized by age, gender and location.
The most common form of e-laughter found was haha (or longer variants e.g. hahaha), followed by emoji and “hehe”. LOL (laugh out loud) accounted for just 1.9% of usage.
“Younger users and women are more likely to use an emoji when tickled; men prefer to use hehe.” – Sarah Larson in New Yorker piece
The site took the posts of its users and organized them into four different forms: “haha”, “hehe”, “lol” and “emoji”. Those four groups included a wide range of different laughs – so “haha” includes “hahaha”, for instance.
On the other hand, Facebook findings showed that “haha” was still the most popular way of laughing across all groups. Emoji was more popular among young people, and lol was bigger among older Facebook users.
It has also been found that people tended to stick bits of ha and he together, with four and fix letters the most common in both haha and hehe forms.
UPDATE: The research is based upon what Facebook has come to know from posts and comments – Facebook noted that it looked at posts and comments for the data and didn’t use Messenger, pointing out that people might write differently in private chats.