Facebook Study Says ‘LOL’ Is Dead, ‘Haha’ Is How We Now Laugh Online

The Internet I grew up on was filled with "LOLs" and, on occasion, the more obscene "LMAO" (or "LMFAO" is something was particularly humorous). These were the days of AOL and CompuServe and Prodigy and NetZero and any other mainstream Internet service I've neglected to mention. But oh, how times have changed. Persistent connections via broadband are fairly commonplace, and that LOL I've seen a million times? It's no longer vogue.

That's according to data compiled by Facebook, which has more users than all those aforementioned services combined did back in the day. I'm not saying Facebook is correct in declaring LOL a virtually dead acronym, a relic of online speech from an earlier era, but by the numbers, well, it's hard to argue.


Yes, Facebook studied this. Once again, they tapped into your comments and posts to study behavior, though instead of trying to manipulate your feelings with cherry picked content, Facebook simply observed. And what Facebook observed is that of the 15 percent of people who included laughter in a post or comment during the last week of May, only a small percentage used LOL (or some variant, like LOLz or LOLOL).

Laughter Pie Chart
Source: Facebook

The majority now use HAHA, or HAHAHA or however they feel like spelling it. Out of Facebook's dataset, 51.4 percent of online laughs were of the HAHA variety, followed by an emoji (33.7 percent), then HEHE at 13.1 percent, and finally LOL at just 1.9 percent.

Facebook didn't stop there. It also analyzed age groups, gender, geographical locations, and other variables to see if this was an isolated thing. For the most part, it's not. Regardless of age or gender or whatever, LOL just isn't cool anymore. Or maybe it is -- while the study didn't get into why LOL is now used so infrequently, it could be because it's perceived as being overused, especially by those who've been around this Internet thing for some time.

Keep in mind this data only represents usage on Facebook, not text messages, SnapChat, or any other chat medium.