We all have that favourite go-to emoji – the one that perfectly (ish) depicts our general mood or reaction to a range of things. Whether we’re hysterically laughing to the point that we have tears streaming down our faces, or are literally feeling the love floating around our heads, there are just some emojis that just feel right. So this World Emoji Day we wanted to know… what are the most-used emojis of 2023?

We took to the social channels and asked that very question – what is your most-used emoji, OJOers? Then we compared our 2023 findings to results from the previous years to see if our go-to emoji preferences had seen much movement. Have we changed our emoji-ing ways? Read on to find out…

Most-used emoji icons – a bit of emoji history

There’s no denying that emoji’s have changed the way we communicate. Although it may seem like they’ve been around forever, emojis only first appeared on Japanese mobile phones in the late 90’s and these days they’re a global norm, with new emojis added to the mix every year.

“Face with tears of joy” – Oxford Dictionary’s “Word of the Year 2015”

Emojis have become such a huge part of our daily communication, that the Oxford dictionary itself declared the “Face with tears of joy” emoji as Word of the Year in 2015. Although the last time I checked, a crying-laughing face isn’t a word, is it?

Emojis have indeed become so big that we now have an annual World Emoji Day. And why does this special day fall on 17th July? Well, if you look closer at the calendar emoji symbol, what date do you see?

Why do we use emojis?

Emoji’s are so widely used nowadays that a WhatsApp message can seem “unfinished”, or even offensive without one. A “see you later” has got nothing on a “see you later😘”, making emojis the perfect post-fight or sucking-up tool. Shakespeare sure had his way with words, but who needs complicated dialogue when an emoji speaks a thousand words?

What’s more, the constantly evolving emoji library continues to come up with more and more ways to help us express ourselves, whether we’re kind of laughing or whether we’re laughing so hard that our head is side-bent with drops of laughter tears streaming out of our eyes.

Granted, they’re not always one hundred percent true to form, but we all still have our most used emojis that get a daily look-in.

Top 5 Most-Used Emoji Icons of 2023

We took to our social media channels to discover which emojis were most-used by OJOers in 2023, and to see if there had been any emoji-movement over last few years. Take a look at this year’s top 5 most-used emojis 2023…

5. Pile of poo 💩

There’s really no nice way to sugar-coat this one, but “a pile of poo” (the official term) seems to make a common appearance in many a correspondence of yours. Nothing says “in your face” like a swirl of brown poo, which according to the Emoji Dictionary can be used to express passive aggression, and often used to replace one of those naughty curse words that I’m not allowed to write here. Oh poo.

4. Red Heart ❤️

The classics never go out of fashion, and the red heart emoji is no exception. The most popular of all the heart emojis, the red heart symbolises good old wholesome love, so count yourself lucky if you get one of those in your inbox. Straight from the heart and voted as your 4th most-used emoji for 2023. We’re lovin’ that.

3. Smiling face with hearts 🥰

They just called to say they love you… 🥰 Voted as the the 3rd most-used emoji in 2022 and again in 2023, according the Emojipedia the smiling face with hearts expresses a range of happy, affectionate feelings, especially being in love”. A bunch of hopeless romantics, you lot… ooo, we love a bit of that.

2. Partying face 🥳

A newcomer to most-used emoji list, the partying face emoji is all about enjoying those good ole’ times. Whether it’s a birthday, engagement or just loving life, nothing says celebration like “a yellow face with a party hat blowing a party horn as confetti floats around its head” (Emojipedia) Looks like you OJOers have got lots to celebrate too, as the partying face has stormed into 2nd place of the most used emojis of 2023 – can I get a woot woot 🥳

1. See-No-Evil Monkey 🙈

And the most used emoji of 2023 is… the see-no-evil monkey! This unlikely pick has featured quite heavily in our most used emojis lists over the years, featuring as the 4th most used emoji in 2020 and again as the most used emoji of all in 2021.

So what’s the meaning behind the monkey covering their eyes? The see-no-evil monkey represents one of the Three Wise Monkeys from ancient Buddhist teachings that says “if we do not hear, see or speak evil, we ourselves shall be spared from evil”.  These days though, or at least in the Western world, it’s more of a “I can’t look!” type of thing, so there’s obviously a lot of squeamish stuff going on over here, you naughty monkeys 🙈.

Happy World Emoji Day!


Aviva is the Content Manager at PlayOJO and writes blogs, copy and all things OJOey. A copy/content marketer for over 7 years, she gets her creative juices flowing by singing, dancing (around her living room), and belly laughing regularly.