Understanding Emoticons: Perception and Usage of Emoticons in WhatsApp

  • S Kannan, PhD Christ University
  • Shreya N Christ University


The use of emoticons in different forms such as text-based, computer-mediated and Instant Messaging services is ever increasing. Emoticons which evolved decades ago, was basically used to represent emotion. With the advent of technology, emoticons have been graphically/digitally transformed and evolved in the way people look and for what they are used for. With a wide array of emoticons at disposal, these emoticons are used for expressing emotions and also numerous activities and phrases. The usage of emoticons, their perception and interpretation varies from person to person. The study reveals that majority believe that emoticons make conversations more interactive, enhance online message communication and generate the required response from the receiver. The study also showed that over majority of the respondents look at both eye and mouth of emoticons for facial emotion recognition.

Author Biographies

S Kannan, PhD, Christ University

Christ University, Bengaluru, India

Shreya N, Christ University

Christ University, Bengaluru, India