People aren't laughing like they used to

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A study released by Facebook says users are ditching "laugh out loud" in favor of other laughter expressions.

Spurred by a New Yorker article about "e-laughter", researchers at the social media giant conducted the "The Not-So-Universal Language of Laughter" study by analyzing posts and comments on Facebook during the last week in May. The researchers did not have access to the names of the posters.

The researchers analyzed global shares, but restricted the study to predominantly English expressions of laughter and 13 "laughter" emojis.

According to to the report released last week, only 1.9 percent of users typed LOL in posts, whereas more than 50 percent employed some version of haha. Emojis were the second-most common type of e-laughter with almost 34 percent and hehe was used by 13.1 percent of users. (Tweet This).

Facebook's study also found that age, gender and geographic location affect how a user will laugh online. Emojis and haha were predominantly used by individuals in their early 20s and younger while hehe and LOL were preferred by older users.

Both men and women overwhelmingly used emojis and haha, although men tended toward haha and women preferred emoji.

Facebook researchers also looked at Internet laughter use by city. Users from Seattle, San Francisco, Phoenix and Boston are more likely to use haha, while those in Chicago and New York favored emojis.