Grinning or Nervous Face? People Interpret Emojis Differently
Sure, a picture's worth a thousand words, but when you use emojis, you may be saying something that you didn't intend.
A new study finds that people often interpret emojis in different ways. And for 95 percent of emojis, people did not strongly agree on what sentiment the image expressed. In addition, the study showed that interpreting emojis could be particularly problematic when the sender and the receiver are using different mobile platforms (for example, when the sender has an iPhone, but the receiver has a Samsung phone). That's because each platform has its own versions of emojis.
For the "grinning face with smiling eyes,” emoji, there was a nearly 5-point difference between the rating of the Apple version and the rating of the Google, Microsoft, Samsung, and LG versions of this same emoji, the study found. The findings suggest that "emoji users would benefit from convergence of emoji design across platforms," which could lower the likelihood of miscommunication, the researchers said.
Future studies may look at how people interpret emojis when they are in the context of a full text message, or whether people from different cultures also interpret emojis differently, the researchers said.