OMG: Acronym Use Explodes On Twitter

Over a recent three-month period, there were more than 330 million confirmed cases of incited laughter on Twitter.

Per new findings from We Are Social, Twitter users included the phrase LOL (Laughing out loud) in tweets about 263 million times, and LMAO (Laughing my ass off) nearly 68 million times, over the period.

Along with laughter, expressions of shock, confusion and disbelief were also commonplace on the popular microblogging platform.

According to We Are Social, OMG (Oh my God) was used about 67 million times; IDK (I don’t know) was put to use on more than 29 million different occasions; while Twitter users wondered WTF (What the fuck?) nearly 29 million times, over the period.   

Researchers say all the shorthand is a natural byproduct of casual communication channels like social networks.



“Language evolves with society, and we can see here a natural progression of everyday phrases molded to fit our needs,” explained Edward Kitchingman, research and insight director at We Are Social. “Like the language used in texts naturally developed in response to efficiency, so it has on social media.”

So popular are such acronyms that LOL even managed to make it into the Oxford English Dictionary, in 2011.

Over the recent three-month period, other popular terms included SMH (Shaking my head), which was used about 26 million times; ILY (I love you), professed over 23 million times; TBH (To be honest), admitted over 18 million times; IDC (I don’t care) declared nearly 8 million times.  

For its research, We Are Social did not track singular words like “because,” “thanks,” “please,” “text” or “boyfriend.”

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