Emojis are a phenomenom and they are here to stay. Take for instance the fact that the blacklisting of the eggplant emoji by Instagram a few days ago caused uproar online amongst users of the photo-sharing application. Or that the addition of skin-tone emoji (some call them racially diverse emoji) and others to reflect same-sex parents in iOS 8.3 and OS X 10.10.3 by Apple actually caused a prolonged debate on Twitter. Instagram engineers took to their blog to share with us interesting metrics and usage trends of the service by its over 300 million monthly active users over the years.
Key in those statistics is that emoji characters now account for over half of the comments on photos posted on the application and at least 50% of the photo captions include emojis. Instagram is even foreseeing a future where only emojis will be used on photo captions and users will likely just be using emojis to comment on photos.
The usage of emojis on Instagram has been on the rise since Apple first included them on its keyboard back in October 2011 and Google finally started officially supporting emoji characters with the Android 4.4 KitKat update in mid-2013. Emojis have gone on to dominate Instagram from accounting for just 10% of comments and captions back in 2011 to a 50% lead as of March 2015. Instagram has recently introduced the ability to use emojis in hashtags and this is expected to contribute more in the usage of emoji characters going forward.
The statistics shared by Instagram show that users of the application in Tanzania are least likely to use emojis on their photo captions or comments since only 20% of them do that. European countries lead the pack with Finns being at the very top at 63%. Users in France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Russia and Spain follow at 50%, 48%, 47%, 45% (tie) and 40% respectively.