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Writers of Instagram – Gone But Not Forgotten?

This is a guest post by Rebecca Armstrong of McGowan Transcriptions

It’s every writer’s dream to build a legacy that transcends time, and to create work that still resonates with readers decades or even centuries after their death. With this in mind, it’s fascinating to see how the works of classic authors like William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and Charles Dickens are being talked about today on modern social networks such as Instagram.

Books are certainly a popular talking point on Instagram. Hashtags like #books and #bookstagram are widely used on the network, having been used to tag millions of posts. They’re deployed on everything from inspiring literary quotes, to book reviews, and impressive bookshelves.

McGowan Transcriptions decided to look into this trend in more depth, and carried out some research to determine which writers are ‘gone but not forgotten’ on Instagram. They’ve compared the number of hashtagged posts for 27 writers who are no longer with us, ranging from the legendary Bard himself Shakespeare, through to modern literary icon Maya Angelou. It’s very interesting to see which authors’ works have transitioned best into a world shaped by social media!

The ranking system used has been based on hashtags which mention the author’s name directly (for example, #janeausten, #austen). However, they’ve also looked at hashtags about each author’s literary works to see which particular book, play, or novel is shared most widely on the network.

In some instances, the author’s work is actually mentioned more than the author. For example, whilst J.R.R Tolkien has been tagged just over 960,000 times, his works have been tagged nearly 5 million times (almost certainly bolstered by the wildly popular movie adaptations!) Similarly, F. Scott Fitzgerald has earned 277,612 hashtags but his most well-known novel The Great Gatsby has 465,847 posts.

To see the full results of the study, take a look at the infographic below and find out which author really is the most Instagrammable!