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Uses and Gratifications of Emojis

Emojis have become an integral part of the social media. However, Emojis can be used for very different purposes, e.g. to underline a message, to loosen up a conversation, to speed up communication, etc. The aim of the thesis is therefore to analyze uses and users of emojis. On this base, an interview study or a survey will be conducted. In terms of communication science, it is therefore a matter of audience reception research and Uses and Gratifications. Special attention should also be paid to the special features of emojis, namely the use use in connection with irony and sarcasm, platform-dependent representation, dependence of meaning on context, culture, etc.

Note that reception research is usually based on quantitative and/or qualitative survey methods (questionnaire, interview). Normally it is not possible for students to examine sufficiently large and meaningful samples, as recruitment is extremely difficult and is also becoming increasingly difficult (so-called survey fatigue of the population). Therefore, we do not normally recommend survey studies and only supervise them if students can prove in advance how they can recruit a reasonably composed sample of sufficient size (usually > 500 for sufficient test power in quantitative research). The vague note that the invitation for the survey will be distributed via Facebook is not enough. The university's e-mail lists also do not provide a sufficient response rate. A study with an inadequate sample should not be carried out right from the start, as it is pseudo-science. For this reason, it is important for this study to carry out a proper survey despite the problems mentioned above (in a qualitative fashion if necessary).


Freedman, A. (2018). Cultural literacy in the empire of emoji signs: Who is crying with joy? First Monday, 23(9). doi:10.5210/fm.v23i9.9395

Miller, H., Thebault-Spieker, J., Chang, S., Johnson, I., Terveen, L., & Hecht, B. (2016). “Blissfully happy” or “ready to fight”: Varying Interpretations of Emoji. In Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (Ed.), Proceedings of ICWSM. Retrieved from



Dr. M. Rohangis Mohseni