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Facebook Reveals Data About What We Really Say Online

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Do you do a lot of laughing online? How do you express your chortles–with a hearty haha or are your more of a LOLer, yourself?

Well now you can tell exactly how your e-laughing compares with the average joe’s, after Facebook (FB) published an analysis on it’s research blog. Inspired by a New Yorker blog post about the various ways we indicate laughter online, researchers, “analyzed de-identified posts and comments posted on Facebook in the last week of May with at least one string of characters matching laughter,” the post reads. “We did the matching with regular expressions which automatically identified laughter in the text, including variants of haha, hehe, emoji, and lol.”


Here’s what they found:

As denizens of the Internet will know, laughter is quite common: 15% of people included laughter in a post or comment that week. The most common laugh is haha, followed by various emoji and hehe. Age, gender and geographic location play a role in laughter type and length: young people and women prefer emoji, whereas men prefer longer hehes. People in Chicago and New York prefer emoji, while Seattle and San Francisco prefer hahas.

Here’s the distribution of different kinds of laughs:


And this map will show you where these different types of laughs are most common:

facebook laughter map

To dig even deeper into the data, check out Facebook’s research blog.