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Haha beats LOL as main online expression of amusement

April 1 is eight months away, but Facebook has released a report on a study which would perfectly fit the April Fools’ day.

The social media giant explored how people expressed amusement and laughter online, and has come to a conclusion that LOL is not so popular as it once used to be.

According to the study, in the last week of May 2015, just 1.9 per cent of posts feature LOL, while 51.4 per cent feature the simple “haha”.

The emoji is strong with this one, taking up 33 per cent of the e-laughing real estate, followed by “hehe” with 13 per cent. The difference is also noticeable based on gender: young people and women prefer emoji, while men prefer longer heheees.

The report breaks down hahas, hehes and LOLs on different ways, asking questions like “is hehe a more masculine way of expressing amusement because of the “he” in the “hehe”?

There is also a geographical breakdown which shows that people in Chicago and New York prefer emoji, while Seattle and San Francisco prefers hahas.

Facebook also looked at the ages of people using different laughter and came to a conclusion that older users (28+) prefer LOL, while the younger audience goes for emoji more often.

The entire idea was born out of a feature article published in the New Yorker, in which author Sarah Larson looks at the different ways people show their amusement using text.

The full report can be found on the Facebook Research page.