Back in the primitive days of MSN Messenger and ICQ, typing "LOL" was the most popular way to convey online mirth. However, according to new user data released by Facebook, the acronym has since fallen from favour. It seems most internet users have reverted to the more phonetically sensible "Haha" with chuckling emoji also gaining traction. We're curious to hear what your preferred laughter signifier is?
In a bid to determine how its users "laugh" online, Facebook analysed posts and comments written in English during the last week of May. The old staple "Haha" proved to be the clear winner, amassing 51 per cent of all uses. Emoji took second place with 33 per cent. "Hehe" was third with 13 per cent of the total. "LOL", meanwhile, managed a paltry 2 per cent.
"Age [and] gender play a role in laughter type and length," Facebook explained in a blog post. "Young people and women prefer emoji, whereas men prefer longer hehes.
It's worth noting that the results were based on Facebook posts and comments — not instant messages, which is where "lol" is arguably more typical. Personally, I still use "lol" frequently in online chat, usually as a visible acknowledgement of a joke (even if I didn't actually laugh out loud).
How do you usually convey laughter online? Cast your vote in the poll below!