Tweet with a smile: The selection and use of emoji on Twitter in the Netherlands and England

  • Maximilian Roele Leiden University
  • Janelle Ward Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Max van Duijn Leiden University
Keywords: emoji, emotion, social media, self-representation, Twitter

Abstract

Emoji, colourful pictographs showing faces, creatures and objects, have seen a surge in popularity and number in recent years. This exploratory study strives to answer the following question: how and why are emoji used on Twitter in the Netherlands and England? By combining quantitative and qualitative methods, we identified three important factors explaining emoji usage: the individual’s purpose on Twitter, the perceived functionality of emoji and the individual’s selection criteria for emoji. Overall, emoji play an important role in online communication and their use is more complex than their light-hearted appearance may suggest.

Author Biographies

Maximilian Roele, Leiden University
Graduate of Leiden University
Janelle Ward, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication, Department of Media and Communication, Assistant Professor
Max van Duijn, Leiden University
Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science, Assistant Professor
Published
2020-03-07
How to Cite
Roele, M., Ward, J., & van Duijn, M. (2020). Tweet with a smile: The selection and use of emoji on Twitter in the Netherlands and England. First Monday, 25(4). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v25i4.9373