Shrewsbury is all smiles after topping emoji rating
Shrewsbury was all smiles today after being rated the happiest town the UK – in emoji land, anyway.
Everyone knows the Shropshire’s market town is one of the best places to live and yesterday we revealed how computer boffins claim to have confirmed that view after analysing billions of online messages.
Researchers at social intelligence company Brandwatch looked at six billion tweets published on Twitter worldwide over the last two years.
All of the messages involved in the research contained emojis, symbols used in text and online that range from smiles and hearts to angry faces and thumbs-down symbols.
When researchers split the emojis into positive and negative emotions they found that Shrewsbury scored 82.55 per cent positive. That was the highest in the UK and well above the overall Twitter average of 75 per cent.
Now town crier Martin Wood says Shrewsbury should get its very own emoji in recognition of the achievement – and he knows exactly what it should be.
“It’s definitely the happiest place, that’s why we all live here. It’s a lovely place to live,” he said.
'A big, happy town crier'
“It would be nice if someone could invent an emoji for Shrewsbury, with a big, happy town crier on. If everyone in Shrewsbury was to put a smiley emoji after their messages that would keep it going.
“I think Shrewsbury is a happy place to live and work and I don’t see any reason not to keep it going.”
Mr Wood was also able to shed some light on just why Shrewsbury is so happy.
“It has got to be something in the air and the water. A few years ago we were the politest town in the country, so this just adds to it. A lot of people have moved into the town or moved back. People are just happy to live here.”
According to the research, Shrewsbury bucks the UK’s trend of being pretty miserable when it comes to our Twitter presence. The UK was named by Brandwatch as one of three most negative countries in Europe, along with the Netherlands and Greece.
Shrewsbury joins Barcelona, Moscow and Turin as the most positive places in their respective countries.
The happiest place on the whole planet is Chennai in India, which scored 93.08 per cent positive on emojis. However, the USA was revealed to be very negative, with the top 20 most negative cities in the world all in the country.
The research showed the largest volume of negative emojis was recorded during the month of the American election.
'Shrewsbury is beautiful and friendly, it’s got everything you could possibly need'
People love Shrewsbury – and there were plenty of happy faces on the streets of the town centre.
Shoppers said they love the atmosphere and aren’t surprised at the emoji research.
Pauline Briand, 75, a non-practising barrister, was visiting from Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire, ahead of a permanent move.
She said: “I am just about to move here because I love it, I’m looking for a place to rent today. "I lived in Church Stretton for three years before moving to Hampshire and I loved coming to Shrewsbury. It just embraces you – it’s beautiful and friendly, it’s got everything you could possibly need.”
Paul Cook, 30, a sales worker from Monkmoor, said: “I think it’s really happy. There is a lot of history behind the town, you can see it everywhere if you look around the town centre and the buildings. A lot of people visit the town because it’s so nice.”
Brian Canfer, 71, a GP practice manager, said: “The use of emojis is a highly unscientific source, but I do enjoy living here.”
Derek Tart, 81, of London Road, Shrewsbury, said: “I do agree with it because I’m a Shropshire lad. There’s everything you could need here, from football to good shopping. I moved here over 50 years ago but it has always been the main town for me.”
Stephen Jones, 66, a caretaker, of Underdale, said: “Everyone is always happy here. It’s always friendly, you always see smiley faces when you walk up town, and people are very helpful.”