Saying “I love you” can be hard. But sending a heart emoji? No problemo!
On Valentine’s Day, heart emoji have their work cut out for them as our emotionally burdened fingers send pictographs of love ’round the globe.
Not all of these emoji staples are created equal, though. According to Emojipedia’s Jeremy Burge, the red heart was Emojipedia’s most searched emoji on Valentine’s Day. At any given time on V-Day, the red heart emoji was looked up twice as much as all the other hearts. People are suckers for a classic!
The real-time tracker of Unicode emoji use, EmojiStats, also puts the red heart in the top spot of all other hearts. In fact, it’s the second most used emoji overall — the most popular emoji in total is 😂: Face with tears of joy because everybody loves a conflicting emotion.
Of course, emoji hearts aren’t just limited to, well, plain ol’ red hearts. There are hearts of every color, hearts on top of or around other hearts, hearts as punctuation, and hearts in the eyes and faces of emoji people. In Unicode, there are a lot of ways to symbolically communicate love!
“The best emoji hearts, in my opinion, are those which sit on the faces,” Burge told Mashable. “The relatively new 🥰 Smiling Face with Hearts from 2018 is great for loving something without being too over the top.”
In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’ve asked the Twittersphere, and tapped your dear author’s extremely rational and flawless subjective judgment, to rank emoji hearts — because what is love without competition with opaque rules?
1. ❤️: Red Heart
If any emoji has oomph, it’s this one. There’s no silly appendages, no muted colors. Sending a red heart emoji is as close as you can get to wearing your heart on your digital sleeve.
Twitter agreed with me; the Red Heart blew away the competition in our highly scientific Twitter poll.
Scientific poll time: What is the best heart emoji?42%❤️24%💕15%😍19%🖤762 votes•Final results
Never underestimate a classic!
2. 😻: Smiling Cat with Heart Eyes
Hearts in your eyes means “I am blinded by literally everything but my love for you.” That’s obviously a winning sentiment. Also, why be a human with heart eyes when you can be a cat?
2.5 😍: Smiling Face with Heart Eyes
Basically the same and almost as good, but not a cat.
3. 😘: Face Blowing a Kiss
Celeb relationship coach Esther Perel says love is a verb. This really exemplifies that, Dontcha think? It’s flirty, it’s fun, it’s thoughtful, but also a little bit rude. And it definitely f*cks.
4. 💕: Two Hearts
Sorry, but the Lil’ heart on top of the big heart just gets me. This is three-DIMENSIONAL love, people. It grows and it moves, just like us.
5. 🖤: Black Heart
Love, but make it metal.
6. All the colored hearts
For when you want to show some affection, but you’re not ready to commit.
7. 💓: Beating heart
I like this one because it looks like this heart can fly!
8. 💗: Growing heart
To ’70s for my taste TBH, but a nice sentiment I guess.
9. 💖: Sparkling Heart
You’re just trying too hard, sparkling heart. Love needs no sparkles. It shines on its own!! Still pretty though.
10. 💘and 💝: Hearts with Arrow and Ribbon
Blade play and bondage? That’s too much for this gal, but have at it, you crazy kids!
11. 💞: Revolving Hearts
12. 🥰: Smiling Face with Hearts
Maybe it’s just too new for me, but this kiddo looks embarrassed and overwhelmed. I re-name this emoji Face with Puberty.
13. ❣️: Heart Exclamation
This second heart is TOO little. I feel like this is trying to fit too many sentiments into one tiny character.
14. 💔: Broken Heart
Last place 🙁
Happy Valentine’s Day!