Yahoo Messenger conducts survey to mark 25th anniversary of emoticons

MUMBAI:Yahoo Messenger is celebrating the 25th anniversary of emoticons, the popular feature on the messenger service.

As part of the emoticon celebration, Yahoo conducted a
survey of 40,000 Yahoo! Messenger users, to reveal where and how emoticons play a role in everyday communication. The major findings of the survey say that 82 percent of those who use Yahoo! Messenger daily use emoticons in their IM conversations.

83 percent of respondents said that ‘happiness‘ and ‘flirting‘ are the emotions they express most often using emoticons.

The survey also reveals that 66 per cent of Yahoo! Messenger users have memorized the text characters for three or more emoticons whereas 19 per cent of respondents have memorized more than 10.

The majority of survey respondents say they best express themselves in IM using emoticons. 61 per cent rely on emoticons to best express their feelings, while 17 per cent rely on Internet slang and 13 per cent rely on photo sharing.

Respondents from the ages of 19 to 25 are the most avid emoticon users, with 68 per cent in this age group using emoticons on a daily basis. But it‘s not just the younger generation embracing emoticons - 48 per cent of respondents over the age of 50 are using emoticons in their everyday communication.

Professor Scott Fahlman of Carnegie Mellon University was the first person to bring in to use his form of non verbal communication, states an official release.


"For 25 years, the ‘smiley‘ :) and his happy parenthetical-powered friends have added a critical layer of expression to our daily online conversations. When you can‘t hear someone‘s voice or see their face, emoticons are there to help us express what simple words can‘t," said Yahoo! Messenger VP Jeff Bonforte.

"Nearly 85 per cent of people using Yahoo! Messenger daily rely on emoticons to add color and character to their communication. Our users are the experts and to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the emoticon, we are asking Yahoo! Messenger users to create the next generation of smiley faces" added Bonforte.


As a part of this celebration Yahoo is also running a contest wherein the consumers are invited to submit their favourite expressions to compete for the next set of emoticons. The winners‘ emoticons will be featured on Yahoo! Messenger‘s service worldwide.

Yahoo! Messenger will add six new animated emoticons to its service in the coming months. To enter Yahoo! Messenger‘s Emoticontest, go to: /emoticontest.php and submit a photo of a signature look or favorite expression. The Bix online community will vote on the submissions and determine the next generation of emoticons in Yahoo! Messenger. The contest is running in the U.S., India and Vietnam until 31 July.

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