The New Language of Social Media

The New Language of Social Media
Written by Zara Akhtar

Emojis, acronyms and GIFs have become vital social media tools in today’s marketing mix. Used by approximately one in four people, it comes as no surprise that social media language is rapidly changing.

 Emojis Maximise Emotion

Emojis (also known as emoticons) are on the rise in social media. Since they emerged, the use of emojis on social media has increased significantly. Now 50% of all captions and comments include an emoji on Instagram.

But why are emojis so popular?

Aside from the fact that they are a much quicker form of communication, using emojis simply makes it easier to put your feelings and emotions across in text where words fall flat. Why tweet that ‘pizza makes you happy’ when you can just send out a pizza emoji along with a heart or smiley emoji? 🍕=❤ 😄 Plus, they use less of your precious Twitter characters.

However, this isn’t the only reason why emojis on social media work. Using emojis also adds a fun, quirky and personal element to your next social media post. There are heaps of emojis to choose from to achieve this, ranging from faces 😉 to animals 🐵 and, as silly as it sounds, even smiling poop 💩.

Research also shows that using emojis can increase Facebook likes by 57%.

 Acronyms Are Awesome

The language of social media is also shaped by the increasing use of acronyms. The purpose of this short and snappy form of communication is to shorten commonly used phrases.

When you see something hilariously funny on social media, typing ‘Rolling on the Floor Laughing’ can seem way too long, so why not shorten it down and type ‘ROFL’ instead?

Other frequently used abbreviations on social media includes ‘ICYMI’ which stands for ‘In Case You Missed It’. This acronym is generally used when posting piece of content that isn’t current such as a news article that you already posted a few days before.

We Are Social found that the most used acronym used on Twitter over a period of three months was the classic ‘LOL’ which stands for ‘Laugh out Loud’ with over 263 million mentions.

Here’s 5 cool acronyms you might want to look out for on your social media feed: 
1. BAE - Before Anyone Else 
2. IMHO - In my Humble Opinion 
3. FOMO - Fear of Missing Out
4. DFTBA – Don’t Forget to be Awesome
5. YOLO – You Only Live Once

 GIFs Grab our Attention

GIFs are also rocketing through social media. 63% of social media is made up of visual content including GIFs.

Like emojis, GIFs offer another way to express how you feel and can quickly convey a feeling or concept. Whether you are happy, angry or even surprised, you can find a GIF reflecting any emotion or situation.

No wonder why 23 million GIFs are posted to Tumblr every single day!

And more, GIFs are fun. Using GIFs on social media gives your feed a sense of excitement and liveliness. Text and photo posts can tend to get a little boring from time to time. GIFs will immediately catch your attention when they appear on your feed. This makes them memorable and can leave a lasting impression.

Videos Vary in Use

Video content is yet another form of communication taking social media by storm. Since 2014, the amount of video posts per person on Facebook has increased by 75% worldwide, while active Twitter users currently watch 370 years of video every day.

The uses of videos on social media are endless. From tutorials to news to entertainment, videos provide a visual insight into anything. Rather than read about the latest news, you have the choice to watch it through social media.

But what is it about videos that make them so attractive?

For a start, videos are a much more human way of delivering messages on social media. They have the ability to bring emotion. This means people are more likely to remember watching a video as appose to reading text.

Making use of videos also means that people are likely to spend more time on your social media page to watch the video, and if they enjoy it, it is likely that they will share the video which will increase engagement.

Since June 2014, Facebook has averaged more than 1 billion video views per day

Punctuation Makes an Impact!

Lastly, punctuation is also forming the new language of social media. You’re probably thinking that punctuation is used all the time but, believe it or not, it is the way in which punctuation is used on social media that makes a massive impact on the way social media posts are conveyed.

Let’s take the full stop for example. Usually, full stops are used to end a sentence, right? However, on social media full stops are generally used to make a big, bold statement.

For example, when you tweet ‘BEST. DAY. EVER’, the full stop at end of each word puts emphasis on the whole statement. Additionally, it stands out from your list of tweets hence making a wider impact.

In a similar way, we often see numerous exclamation marks at the end of a sentence or phrase. Only using one exclamation mark sometimes doesn’t capture your excitement therefore, the need to use at least three like this: ‘Doctor Who is on tonight!!!’ 

Overall, the language of social media is forever changing. We are always finding new and creative ways to communicate and express ourselves. Whether it is though emojis or videos, it allows us send messages in various, exciting ways.

Just check out our Twitter feed as an example of how you can take advantage of it!


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