A look at Instagram usage in Edmonton

In this post I’m going to share some data on how Edmontonians are using Instagram1. This data was collected using the Instagram API over the 30 days between June 9 and July 8. My aim in this post is not to try to quantify every Instagram photo posted in Edmonton, but rather to give you a flavor of what Instagram usage looks like in our city.

instagram photos by day

During the month in question, I tracked 90,679 total photos posted by 15,395 different users. The average number of photos posted per user was 6, while the median number was 3. Just 4 users posted more than 200 photos over the month, while 25 users posted 100 photos or more.


One of the things I was most interested in was filter usage. Which filters are the most popular? It turns out that 59% of all photos posted did not use a filter at all! Here’s the breakdown:

instagram photos by filter

The top five filters were: Amaro, Valencia, Mayfair, X-Pro II, and Lo-Fi.

Likes & Comments

I tracked the number of likes & comments posted on each photo for a short period of time only, so some may have accumulated more over the course of the month than I captured. A total of 15,825 photos or 17.5% received no likes, while just over 64,000 or 70.7% received no comments.

instagram photos by likes

The average number of likes a photo received was 13, and the average number of comments received was less than 1. One photo received more than 4,000 likes and one received more than 260 comments.


Here’s a tag cloud of all the tags used on the photos posted during the month:

instagram photo tags

Here are the top 25 tags used:

  1. yeg
  2. love
  3. edmonton
  4. summer
  5. cute
  6. instagood
  7. follow
  8. photooftheday
  9. followme
  10. beautiful
  11. selfie
  12. tagsforlikes
  13. tbt
  14. like4like
  15. girl
  16. happy
  17. smile
  18. picoftheday
  19. canada
  20. instadaily
  21. tflers
  22. food
  23. likeforlike
  24. amazing
  25. bestoftheday

Roughly 40,252 or 44% of the photos posted did not have any tags.


One of the interesting things about Instagram photos is that they are geotagged. That means I was able to see where in the city they were posted. A total of 349 neighbourhoods had at least one photo posted. Here are the top 25 neighbourhoods by number of photos posted:

  1. Downtown
  2. Oliver
  3. Strathcona
  4. University of Alberta
  5. Garneau
  6. Queen Alexandra
  7. Summerside
  8. Westmount
  9. Cumberland
  10. Queen Mary Park
  11. Boyle Street
  12. Ritchie
  13. Summerlea
  14. McCauley
  15. Central McDougall
  16. Edmonton Northlands
  17. Brintnell
  18. Rutherford
  19. River Valley Victoria
  20. Inglewood
  21. Alberta Avenue
  22. South Edmonton Common
  23. Silver Berry
  24. MacEwan
  25. Ormsby Place

Here’s a rough look at some of the data on a map:


The top 5 neighbourhoods accounted for 19.1% of all the photos posted.

Final Thoughts

I hope you found this look at Instagram usage in Edmonton useful! Remember, this is not meant to quantify usage, but rather is intended to give you a sense of the way Instagram is used throughout our city. Obviously it would be interesting to analyze what exactly is being posted on Instagram, but that kind of analysis is much more complicated.

Happy Instagramming!

  1. It would be more accurate to say this is a look at photos posted in Edmonton. To gather the data, I asked the Instagram API for photos posted within the limits of the City of Edmonton. While most of those were likely posted by residents, some would have been from tourists or other visitors. 

Media Monday Edmonton: Who’s on Instagram?

Lately I have been pretty interested in the many different ways that Edmontonians are using Instagram. Of course we use it to document the beautiful, the shocking, the curious, and yes the mundane, throughout our city. But does it have uses beyond that? Are the local media using it for news?

Instagram itself seems keen on becoming a platform for news organizations, especially with video. Some organizations are indeed using it that way, such as the BBC which launched Instafax, a short-form video news service. It’s an obvious platform for photojournalists, and many use it as part of their storytelling (here’s a good list).

Here’s a snapshot of local media organizations on Instagram (as of June 9, 2014):

Organization Followers Posts
Edmonton Journal 4,830 414
102.3 NOW! Radio 3,613 604
Global Edmonton 1,691 340
Hot 107 Edmonton 1,438 187
91.7 The BOUNCE 1,178 53
Gastropost Edmonton 1,111 32
CKUA Radio 742 449
92.5 Fresh FM 628 97
Breakfast Television 363 64
VUE Weekly 313 30
CISN Country 103.9 234 3
Edmonton Sun 27 3
630 CHED 22 1

Have I missed one? Let me know!

For the purposes of this post, I chose to focus on organization accounts. There are some prominent individuals with Instagram accounts of course, like Lochlin Cross from 100.3 The Bear, Global Edmonton’s Carole Anne Devaney, or Ryan Jespersen of BT Edmonton fame. Perhaps some organizations not listed above are represented by their employees.

So, what do local media organizations use Instagram for? The Journal seems to be posting photos captured for stories, such as the Pride Parade on the weekend or the return of the Oil Kings a couple weeks ago. 102.3 NOW! seems to be using Instagram the way it uses other social media networks – for audience engagement. They post funny or interesting photos and actively invite user feedback. Global Edmonton seems to be using Instagram for a mix of purposes, including behind the scenes, News Hour promotion, and event coverage.

Up next for Instagram? Ads. They’ve been experimenting with ads in the United States for a while now, and now ads are coming to Canada too.

You might also be interested in my look at the local media on Facebook. You can see past Media Monday Edmonton entries here.