Which do you use the most: emoji, kaomoji or deco mail? graph of japanese statisticsHonestly, it’s not just because I’ve recently launched a Japanese emoticon and smiley dictionary that I’m picking up a number of surveys like this one from Point On Research and reported on by japan.internet.com into mobile phone email use, with the focus for this report on textual and graphical emoticons.


On the 15th of February 2009 exactly 1,000 mobile phone users from the Point On Research monitor pool completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 50.0% of the sample were female, 20.0% in their teens, 20.0% in their twenties, 20.0% in their thirties, 20.0% in their forties, and 20.0% in their fifties.

Even though I have produced the above-mentioned emoticon dictionary, I don’t actually use text emoticons in my mobile email! Most of the time it is the built-in emoji graphical icons. I’d use more decomail (larger-sized, on the whole, animated gifs) but my phone is one of the first models to support them, so the user interface is pretty awkward to say the least.

I don’t get enough mobile emails to use any other pattern than immediate reply, but my blog email is another matter altogether…

Research results

Q1: About how often do you use mobile phone email? (Sample size=1,000)

Every day 85.6%
Four to six days a week 7.8%
One to three days a week 4.3%
Less than that 2.3%

Of those who used mail every day, they were asked how many they sent and received on an average day. The top answer was 21.3% sending and receiving one to five mails, then 20.9% with eleven to twenty, 19.5% with six to ten, and 10.7% with thirty-one to fifty.

Q2: If you are in a situation where you can reply promptly, about how quickly do you actually reply to mobile phone email? (Sample size=1,000)

Always reply promptly 35.5%
Only reply promptly to urgent mail 45.1%
Reply when I feel like it 12.3%
After a while reply to all backlogged messages 3.1%
Often just don’t reply 2.7%
Other 1.3%

Q3: Which do you use the most: emoji, kaomoji or deco mail? (Sample size=1,000)

Emoji, graphic icons 66.1%
Kaomoji, facemarks 17.7%
Deco mail, HTML mail 1.6%
About the same 8.0%
No particular preferences 6.7%

Q4: Do you use emoji more when sending email to men or to women? (Sample size=1,000)

  Male senders
Female senders
Use emoji more when sending to men 0.6% 0.8%
Use emoji more when sending to women 24.4% 21.0%
About the same for both sexes 20.4% 37.4%
No particular preferences 16.6% 27.4%
Don’t use them 38.0% 13.4%


righteous · March 10, 2009 at 12:51

You can’t replace the text based emoticon, because you have to be creative with text. Any idiot can draw a graphic.

Here are some super cool adult TEXT based emoticons.

Japanese smartphone annoyances | 世論 What Japan Thinks · March 5, 2012 at 01:02

[…] I get email from an ordingary mobile phone and all the emoji are […]

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