The 10 most popular emojis in 2021

Today, hardly any chat can do without emojis. Good that there are now thousands of them to choose from. But which emoji is actually the most popular?

We have the Unicode Consortium to thank for the numerous emojis, an association of companies like Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft. Every year, they vote on which new emojis will come to iOS and Android. According to the latest count by the Unicodes Consortium, there are now 3663 of the little emojis to choose from, and 92 percent of online users include them more or less regularly in their chats. One motif is particularly common. It was also the most popular emoji in previous years.

The most popular emoji in 2021 is…

…the tears of joy emoji ?.. 5 percent of worldwide emoji use is accounted for by the motif introduced in 2010. This result is not surprising, because the yellow ball crying tears of joy was already the most popular emoji in 2019. At that time even with a worldwide usage of a whopping 9.9 percent. Since then, the selection of emojis has continued to grow, but an average of just under 10 percent of usage was still noteworthy back then. Now, the tears of joy emoji still manages 5 percent, closely followed by the heart ❤️, which, as in previous years, lands in second place among the most popular emojis.

According to the Unicode Consortium, there is then a significant gap between the second and third place of the most popular emojis. In addition, there are also some changes in the rest of the top 10 compared to 2019. Instead of the emoji with the heart eyes ? has now won the happy tears laughing and rolling on the floor emoji ? the third place for themselves. It is followed in 4th place by the thumbs-up emoji ? and the violently crying emoji ? in 5th place. Here are the current 10 most popular emojis this year compared to the 2019 winners:

The most popular emojis in 2021 and 2019
The most popular emojis in 2021 and 2019 Photo: Unicode Consortium

Top emojis by class and the top up-and-comer in 2021.

However, it is also interesting if we look at the most popular emojis in the different classes. For example, in the transportation class in 2021, the rocket ? was used the most. It often symbolizes big changes or a take-off success. In the body parts, the biceps emoji ?? is especially popular, often representing strength and success. Also ahead are the bouquet of flowers ? in the plants section and the butterfly ? in the animals section.

The over 4000 year old history of emojis.

There is also an honorable mention among the most popular emojis in 2021. The begging face ? has made a huge leap from 97th to 14th place from 2019 to 2021, leaving 83 emojis behind. Yet it was only introduced in 2018.


  • Unicode Consortium