Hashtags on Instagram can help users engage with more than just their followers. It gives an organic way to discover communities through the topics and forums that interest them. We analyze the number of posts related to COVID-19 on Instagram that quantitatively reflect users’ awareness of the situation.
We started off with investigating basic hashtags such as #covid19 and #coronavirus; hashtags related to medical supplies #mask and #facemask; #ClapBecauseWeCare, a daily event people cheer medical professionals working on the frontline; and a hashtag that support others such as #stayalive. Our research showed that people might have considered how to protect themselves amid the pandemic before their governments imposed strict prohibitions on residents.
Another remarkable finding was that #cough was posted 4 times more than that in February, which might imply that people had started to recognize their symptoms a few days before the governments announced official statements.
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