Careful… That Emoji Might Mean Something Very Different To Its Recipient

Careful… That Emoji Might Mean Something Very Different To Its Recipient
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Every brand has to have its own take on each emoji nowadays, and that differentiation might be hindering communication. It turns out emoji can mean different things to different people, according to a recent paper.

Image via Shutterstock

GroupLens lined up all the different versions of emoji and surveyed what people thought of them. You know that smiley emoji with the closed eyes? It turns out different brands’ version of that emoji rank differently in terms of positivity, and Apple’s even ranks in the negative end of the spectrum.

According to the paper:

Overall, we found that if you send an emoji across platform boundaries (e.g., an iPhone to a Nexus), the sender and the receiver will differ by about 2.04 points on average on our -5 to 5 sentiment scale. However, even within platforms, the average difference is 1.88 points.

That’s because some emoji are quite vague. Apple has one that just could just as easily mean “stop” as it could “clap”.

It’s impossible to know the phone brand of the person you’re texting at all times, so the reality is we just don’t know which emoji is popping up on the other side. In important conversations, it might be best to just stick to text.

Investigating the Potential for Miscommunication Using Emoji [GroupLens]


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