Research Paper

The social construction of the image of a city through Instagram: The case of Granada

Our digital world is increasingly visual. Mobile applications focused on digital photography such as Instagram are vehicles for the creation, manipulation and instant diffusion of images. Instagram is therefore an open window to research in Social Sciences and Digital Humanities, and an opportunity to investigate how young users of this application develop visual culture in their local environments through global visual languages. The present work analyzes the production of Instagram in Granada from a sample of 955.564 publications and 375.758 images published and geolocated over a year (between April 2017 and April 2018), with the aim of showing how the image of a city is socially constructed. The geographical, social network, and content analysis of the study sample has allowed to establish which are the main focal points of visual attraction of the city, as well as the most active neighborhoods and districts; the most relevant members of a user network that is self-constructed in a heterogeneous and open manner, with strong intermediary nodes of an “instagramist” style that connect subcommunities; as well as the widespread use of the application both for business promotion and for the development of individual creativity. All this indicates how the Instagram publications in Granada make visible the importance and incidence of tourism in the city.

Magazine or publication El Profesional de la Información