Fortnite, K-pop, and bright red hearts: What ruled Instagram in 2018

So. Many. Heart. Emojis. Behold, Instagram’s year in review.

Fortnite, K-pop, and bright red hearts: What ruled Instagram in 2018
[Photo: rawpixel/Unsplash]

Whispering, hearts, Fortnite, and K-pop ruled Instagram this year.


The company released its year in review, a look at the top emojis, hashtags, and communities of 2018. The red heart emoji was used 14 billion times in comments, #fortnite became the fastest growing hashtag globally, ASMR took the crown for the top niche community, and the legion of fans behind K-pop group BTS propelled the boy band to Instagram’s top fandom community.

“Instagram is where cultural trends are born. And this year, Instagram’s global community of 1 billion came to the platform to creatively express themselves and get closer to the people–and things–they love,” Charles Porch, head of global creative programs at Instagram, says via email.

Knowing how impactful social media has been in spreading global movements, Instagram also included the top advocacy hashtags of 2018, with #MeToo being the most posted. That said, for all the good and awareness Instagram can facilitate, there’s also an ever-present cesspool of trolls at the ready in the comments, which is something Porch says Instagram is addressing.

“When we look back on the year, spreading kindness was a top priority for Instagram, and it’s clear our community was feeling the love. But we know that sometimes people can be unkind,” he says. “So this year we announced that we are using machine learning to proactively hide bullying comments and new technology to automatically detect bullying in photos. We’re continuing to invest in these efforts going into 2019 and beyond.”

Take a look at Instagram’s 2018 year in review below:

  • Most used face filter in Instagram Stories: Heart Eyes
  • Most used Giphy sticker on Instagram Stories: Heart Love Sticker by Arata
  • Number of times the red heart emoji was used in comments: 14 billion
  • Happiest geotagged location in the world (highest use of the smiley face emoji in the caption): Disneyland Tokyo
  • Top niche community trend: ASMR
  • Highest growth hashtag community: #fortnite
  • Top fandom community: BTS (#btsarmy)
  • Top dance movement: #inmyfeelingschallenge
  • Top advocacy hashtags: #metoo (1.5 million), #timesup (597K), #marchforourlives (562K)

About the author

KC covers entertainment and pop culture for Fast Company. Previously, KC was part of the Emmy Award-winning team at "Good Morning America," where he was the social media producer.