Despite being one of the most universally recognised acronyms, LOL – or “laugh out loud” – is fading into obscurity.
That’s according to a new study by Facebook that examines the state of “e-laughing” on the internet.
The social network examined posts in the USA from the last week of May this year, and found that just 1.9% contained a “LOL”.
Supplanting “LOL” and coming in as top pick for those wanting to express enthusiasm digitally is “haha”, which now claims 51.4% of the online humour share.
Emoji’s took second place for signalling smiles with 33%, while “hehe” was a strong third at 13%.
Interestingly, Facebook also discovered a gender split, with men typically using “haha” and “hehe”, and women tending towards emoji.
The move away from “LOL” is also correlated with age. Emojis were generally preferred by younger people, while “LOL”-ing was found to have the oldest median age.
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What’s more, Facebook tracked expression of amusement across various states in the US, revealing distinct preferences across the nation.
“The maps broadly show that haha and hehe are more popular on the west coast, emoji are the weapon of choice in the midwest, and southern states are fond of lol,” reads the study.
It continues: “Presidential campaigns, take note: the battleground states of Ohio and Virginia are haha states, while the candidates’ emoji games will surely be key in determining who emerges victorious in Florida.”
So, do you prefer lolling, hahaing, heheing, or would you rather rely on the merits of a smiling yellow blob? Let us know in the comments.