Photo: The Local
Swedes love using emoticons. Photo: TT
The red heart emoji* is the most popular symbol used by tech savvy Swedes, suggesting that while small talk might not come easily to many, there's plenty of passion bubbling underneath the surface.
Analysts at SwiftKey, a company that makes smartphone keyboards, looked at more than a billion pieces of emoji data as part of a two-step study designed to reveal how different languages around the globe are using the symbols.
They also discovered that despite Sweden being famous for crisp breads and sweet buns, the loaf of bread emoji is used more by people typing in Swedish than those using any other tongue.
Plus despite the country's strict alcohol policies, the symbol for two beers is used at double the average global rate.
Swedes use small pink hearts, high five symbols and winks more often than the global average. They are less likely than most to insert a crying cat, an angry red face or a weeping yellow face into their messages – perhaps a nod to the Nordic nation being one of the happiest in the world.
Photo: The Local
Swedes also appear to have strong love for a certain bearded gift-giver rumoured to be dwelling in the North Pole. Along with Norwegians and Danes, Swedes used the Santa emoji more frequently than those writing in all other languages.
The SwiftKey research into Scandinavia's SMS habits, was picked up by the Swedish media on Monday, less than six weeks after the company released the first part of its global study, which suggested that several other European nations live up to their cultural sterotypes when sending texts.
Spaniards were found to be using the 'party-time' emoji more often than the global average, while the passionate French also showed some love for the red heart. German speakers demonstrated that a yellow face showing an ear-to-ear grin and crying with laughter was their favourite symbol.
The latest report also revealed that Finnish speakers are eight times more likely to use more black moon emoji. The report's authors suggest that this is perhaps a nod to the nation's long, dark winter nights. However the symbol was not among the most popular in other parts of sun-starved Scandinavia.
* Note: for those living in the stone age, an emoji (or emoticon) is any kind of pictograph used in instant messaging. The first symbols were made popular in Japan.