Emojis are changing social media in a big way.
At the end of April, the application released a new feature that allows users to include the tiny characters in hashtags. That way, people can search for specific emojis (or emoji combinations) when exploring content on the platform.
It's quickly becoming a trend.
Over a one-month period, individual emojis on Instagram were hashtagged more than 6.4 million times, according to Curalate, a visual marketing and analytics firm. But the capability reaches beyond the traditional Instagram user. Brands are also using hashtagged emojis to connect with their audiences in hopes of cashing in via social media.
Similar to the GIF, emojis have become a universal language, and have—in many cases—eliminated the need for text altogether. No brand knows this more than Dominos. The company is taking the power of the emoji to the next level by allowing customers to purchase a pie by simply sending a pizza emoji or the hashtag #EasyOrder to the @Dominos account.
As it relates to Instagram hashtags, the most-used emoji is the standard red heart. It's followed by five different faces, two pink hearts, a winking face, red lips and a thumbs up—all ranking in the top 10 most used.
For a look at the top 100 hashtagged emojis on Instagram, check out the infographic below, courtesy of Curalate. Does your favorite make the list?