TIME analyzes data from the social network to find the most self-obsessed cities.
TIME Magazine has built an intricate database of over 400,000 Instagram photos containing the “#selfie” tag and geographic coordinates to determine the most self-interested locations around the world. With over 400 cities included in the project, the selfies were downloaded from Instagram’s API over a ten day period, from January 28 to February 2, 2014 and March 3 to 7, 2014.
Deemed the financial center of the Philippines, Makati City placed first, and was followed closely by NYC in second place.
The team at TIME has also broken down the data into the top 100 “selfiest” cities in the world, with tagged maps for each of those cities. Each yellow dot in the maps represents one selfie taken recently over the course of a ten-day period. For example, in Makati City there were 258 selfie-takers per 100,000 people, and in NYC there were 202 selfie-takers per 100,000 people.
“While the metric of people who take selfies per capita is far from a perfect measure, it was far and away the most comprehensive means of comparing the 459 world cities that turned up at least 25 individual users in the database,” explains the team at TIME.
This geo-coding method shows exactly how social media can be used to compare cultural trends across a range of different cities and nations. These maps also show the extent to which the selfie trend has become a global phenomenon, and prove that it’s not always the countries you’d expect that come out on top.