[NOTE: Today we present a piece we solicited from one of our readers, Rebecca Armstrong…]
Whilst you might think of Instagram as the domain of fashion, selfies, and gorgeous photos of exotic locations, it turns out there’s a bit more literary discussion going on than you’d expect. Millions of Instagrammers are using hashtags like #books, #bookstagram, and #booknerd to tag everything from photos of beautifully designed book covers, to inspiring literary quotes, and snaps of own their book collections.
The team at McGowan Transcriptions wanted to look more closely at this trend and have carried out their own study to definitively establish who the most popular writer of all time is (at least on Instagram). They focused on writers who are (sadly) no longer with us, trawling through hashtags like #williamshakespeare and #tolkien to see who was mentioned the most. They also looked at each of the writers’ works to see which book, poem, or play is tagged the most frequently on the popular social network.
Furthermore, for the top mentioned writers, Google Trends data was analysed to see which particular events, anniversaries – or in many cases, Google doodles – sparked renewed interest in the writer and their work. For example, this data showed that search interest in William Shakespeare increases annually in April, coinciding with the anniversaries of the Bard’s birth and death. Interest then skyrocketed to an all-time high in April 2016: the 400 th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
And now for the news you’ve been waiting for – Shakespeare fans will be pleased to hear that even today Shakespeare is the most popular writer on Instagram, demonstrating his continued influence and resonance even in today’s modern, social media obsessed world. His works have also maintained their popularity. The top five most hashtagged are
- Romeo and Juliet: 588,176 hashtags
- Hamlet: 362,540 hashtags
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream – 146,218 hashtags
- Othello: 89,578 hashtags
- Twelfth Night: 47,276 hashtags