While our travel plans may be on hold at the moment, it’s really important that we all still keep thinking, dreaming and talking about travel.
At Rainforest Cruises, we are of course experts in river tours, that’s why we decided to turn our hand to a little bit of data analysis and find out which rivers around the world are the most popular according to Instagram.
Of course we have our own favourites, including the Amazon River and Mekong RIver, but we wanted to see what the hashtags had to say.
We scoured Instagram to find how many times over 1,000 of the largest and most iconic rivers in the world had been hashtagged on the photo sharing site.
And the results may well surprise you!
Coming out in the top spot is the River Thames. As for the Amazon and Mekong, surprisingly the Amazon ranked in 31st place – given its iconic status and the fact that it is the second longest river in the world we expected to see it higher. Of course it’s not quite as accessible as many of the city-based rivers which ranked near the top.
The Mekong ranked very highly in 12th place which we were delighted to see. The Mekong river is one of the largest rivers in Asia, traversing South East Asia taking in China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Read on below for the full results and to find out more about our research.
Ranking in top place is the River Thames – one of the most iconic sights of London -with over 1 million posts. The Thames is primarily associated with London, but at 215 miles it does in fact flow through other parts of Southern England, including Oxford and Reading. The river is the longest in England and the second longest in the UK, with only the River Severn in Wales being longer.
In second place is the Hudson River, running primarily through New York. It is interesting to see that both the first and second most popular rivers on Instagram are those based in cities – suggesting this is where travellers are more likely to be snapping river shots. The Hudson River also has over 1 million posts on the site. The Hudson River is an integral part of New York, and for many it is classed as the most important natural feature of all of New York state.
Next up is another US river, with Colorado River coming in at third place with over 500,000 posts. It is interesting to see such a substantial leap from the first two rivers down the third place – showing just what popular Instagram spots both the Thames and the Hudson are. The Colorado River has its own claims to fame, including its original name of The Grand – which really showcases just what a magnificent site this river located among the Rocky Mountains really is.
Another US river has proven popular on Instagram with the Mississippi River ranking in fourth place with over 460k posts. The Mississippi is the second longest river in the USA. Despite its name, the Mississippi river doesn’t only take in Mississippi but also Minnesota, Wisconsin, Louisiana and more states of the Deep South. The river is a popular visitor attraction and is well known for its glamorous river cruises.
In fifth place it’s the USA again – it is interesting to see just how popular the US’ rivers appear to be on Instagram. The Columbia River flowing through the USA and Canada has over 300,000 posts on Instagram. The Columbia river rises in the Rocky Mountains, and flows through Washington and Oregon. The Columbia River is known for being home to a large array of fish species, including bass, catfish and steelhead.
In sixth place is the Danube – the second longest river in Europe taking in much of central and eastern Europe, including Hungary, Austria, Germany and Czech Republic, to name a few. Arguably one of the most scenic areas of the river – and certainly a spot for the Instagrammers – lies in Hungary’s city of Budapest, where the chain bridge over the river connects the two areas of Buda and Pest, and provides breathtaking views of both. This is just one of the reasons the river has racked up over 250,000 posts on Instagram.
It’s back to the US with the Chicago River ranking in seventh place, boasting over 250,000 Instagram posts. The Chicago River is one rare example where the namesake is fully reflective of its location, as the river flows solely through the city of Chicago. The river provides an incredibly scenic spot within the city, with backdrops of the city’ss skyscrapers behind the river at night making for the kind of post Instagram dreams are made of.
Of course the Seine River was destined to feature within the top ten – it is after all one of the most romantic spots in one of the most romantic cities in the world, who wouldn’t want to Instagram that? There are 32 bridges across the River Seine, with Pont Neuf being the oldest and the famous bridge which has been immortalised across art, poetry, movies and now Instagram. The romantic river racks up a total of 250,000 hashtags on Instagram.
Ranking as Australia’s most popular river on Instagram is the Yarra River, with over 220k posts. The Yarra River plays an important role in Australia’s history having been a major food source and a central meeting point for Australia’s indigenous people since prehistoric times. There is a festival once a year to celebrate the importance of the river, and the river is used for recreational activities ranging from kayaking to swimming and canoeing throughout the year.
Rounding off the top ten is another Australian entry, and in fact the country’s longest river – the Murray River. At over 2,500km in length, the substantial river stretches from the mountains of the Great Dividing Range, all the way to South Australia. The river also plays an important role in the history of Australia’s aboriginal people who lived along the river, and the river was also an important passage for many of Australia’s earliest explorers.
To compile our study we analysed how often each river name had been hashtagged on Instagram, using both the format of #River[NAME] and #[NAME]River, to account for different naming conventions. We totalled this together to get the total amount of hashtags for each river.
We excluded rivers where more than one river had the same name or where the hashtag may be referring to something else – for example a band name or company.
We used the Britannica list of rivers listed in our sources to conduct the research.
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