Emoji worth a thousand words

Natalia Chrzanowska Natalia Chrzanowska
May 26, 2014 ・ 6 min read

We are excited to present you our next tiny analysis about two emojis, which are slowly taking over the social media. We pulled from the Internet mentions which included ¯_(ツ)_/¯ or ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ to see how social media users communicate with each other using these symbols.

Inspiration of this entry was Mashable’s article that we’ve come across recently.  As we mentioned in our previous article about new Snapchat functionality, people in social media decreasingly and less willingly apply written word in their comments. Instead they prefer images or video sharing. Or emojis which sometimes are worth a thousand words and require less effort to read and write it.  Today we examined two different emojis. First one – ¯_(ツ)_/¯  – commonly known as smugshrug or simply shruggie spreads on Facebook and Twitter feeds expressing various emotions but rather with a negative tone. The second is definitely a positive one – ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ, which reflects great joy, happiness and excitement. We decided to extract from social media platforms more mentions which include those emojis and analyze them with a little help of our analyzing tool.

Sources emoji

Main sources Most popular source of mentions was Twitter.

Sample mentions ¯_(ツ)_/¯:

On the 22th May we collected all mentions with ¯_(ツ)_/¯ symbol. About 12% of them included opinions about trending emoji and the majority of Internet users consider it cool and useful. However, comments with ¯_(ツ)_/¯ are usually with a negative or indifferent tone. Main meanings of this emoticon are:

  • I don’t care
  • I don’t know
  • Whatever

Even companies take the trend up. Here is the example of Denny’s:

Average number of interactions with Denny’s Twitter per post within one week: 627

Number of interactions with the Twit depicted above: 4423

Increase: 700%


  …and some other sample mentions:

Sample mentions ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ:

We found much less mentions with ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ (6 times less than with ¯_(ツ)_/¯) on the same date. All comments are definitely with a positive sentiment. Here are some sample mentions:


  • ¯_(ツ)_/¯ is definitely more popular than ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ – at average six times more mentions with shruggie,
  • emoji increases the number of interactions,
  • social media users enthusiastically perceive entries with emojis.