What's the Most 'Expensive' Emoji, According to Venmo

It's not the burrito emoji.

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Jul 17 2016, 2:00pm

Image: Venmo.

In case you haven't heard, today is World Emoji Day, and to celebrate, the payment app Venmo—now owned by PayPal—has revealed what were the most popular emojis (Venmojis?) used on its platform in the past year.

Ever lurk your Venmo homepage feed to see what your friends (and exes) are paying and getting paid for? You're not alone. Not only is it fun to make up quirky riddles for your followers to decipher, but trying to figure out which of your friends hung out without you last night via their drunken, beer emoji-filled transactions is part of the new millennial experience.

"For those of us who are a little older, we remember how you'd write a memo on a check while paying, and so that's the idea with Venmo," Pablo Rodriguez, Director of Global Consumer Initiatives for PayPal, told me. "You make the transaction more of an experience."

With so many users on its platform, Venmo has come up with some interesting data regarding the emojis users choose to represent their payments.

According to the company, the most "expensive" emoji of the past year—or the emoji that equated to the largest transaction dollar amount—is the two-story house with the garden, which represents rent for many users. This can be attributed to the fact that Venmo introduced autocomplete back in May 2015, according to the company. The autocomplete feature means that if you type in "rent" on a payment description, Venmo suggests adding the house emoji to the transaction. If you type "burrito," it will offer up the burrito emoji, and so on.

The Venmo data was pulled from a random sampling of 5 million notes with emojis for approved transactions, along with the city location of the sender. Given that in January 2016, Venmo saw more than $1 billion in transactions, that gives context to just how many emojis are being used on the platform.

And if you're anything like me, you wouldn't be surprised that Venmo's data revealed roughly 30 percent of all approved transactions contained emojis. It's rare that I ever send a Venmo payment without an emoji.

Some other interesting tidbits from Venmo's emoji data: According to Rodriguez, the most used emojis on Venmo this year were the pizza slice and beer mug, and the five US cities of that used emojis the most this past year were: San Francisco, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Boston, and Miami.