The humble emoticon is something of a phenomenon, isn’t it? Its most modern incarnation, the emoji, is ubiquitous, to say the least. Even email clients will now display them, which makes us wonder how they go down in some corporate environments.

But they serve a valuable purpose: conveying feelings that often the written word can’t. They make sure that people understand that you’re being sarcastic, or frivolous, or genuine. Love them or hate them, they are useful.

And boy, are they popular. Take a quick look at, and you’ll see that straight away, as good use is made of the Twitter real-time API to show which emojis are being used right now.

It’s reassuring to see, what with all the stories of online abuse and downright hate being peddled on social networks, that the number one emoji is ... wait for it ... the one for love.

That’s a nice thought to round off the week, isn’t it?