71% of Americans use emojis, stickers, GIFs when texting or using mobile apps

Tenor, a mobile GIF sharing platform, has released results from a recent survey conducted online by Harris Poll1 among over 2,000 U.S. adults, revealing that 7 in 10 Americans (71%) use visual expression such as emojis, stickers or GIFs when texting or using mobile messaging apps

These survey results coincide with the 10th anniversary of the first iPhone release, which has played an instrumental role in making mobile messaging ubiquitous. Among those who use visual expressions when texting or messaging:

  • Seventy-seven percent believe the people they frequently text/mobile message better understand the thoughts and feelings they are trying to communicate when using visual expressions rather than words alone.
  • Sixty-nine percent feel more connected to the people they frequently text/mobile message when expressing themselves using visual expressions in addition to words.
  • Fifty-nine percent are more comfortable expressing their emotions using visual expressions in mobile messaging than voicing them in phone conversations.
  • Roughly two in three visual expression users (65%) use them in texts/messages with others to express their personality or emotions and over half use them with the intention to make conversations more fun (56%) or to make the person they are talking to laugh (51%).
  • Among women who use visual expressions when texting/mobile messaging, 54% do so to express happiness -- compared to 42% of men.
  • The majority of 18-44 year olds who use visual expressions believe GIFs help them express emotions better than either emojis or words (both 64%) in text/mobile messages.  Three in five 18-44 year olds (62%) expect to use GIFs more in text/mobile messages in the next 12 months than they do now.

(This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Tenor from May 24-26, 2017 among 2,057 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among whom 1,386 use visual expressions when texting/mobile messaging. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.)