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Wildlife Photos on Social Media: A Quantitative Content Analysis of Conservation Organisations' Instagram Images

Version 2 2024-06-14, 19:59
Version 1 2022-09-30, 00:23
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-14, 19:59 authored by Meghan Niamh ShawMeghan Niamh Shaw, Bill BorrieBill Borrie, Emily M McLeod, Kelly MillerKelly Miller
Wildlife populations are vanishing at alarmingly high rates. This issue is being addressed by organisations around the world and when utilizing social media sites like Instagram, images are potentially more powerful than words at conveying crucial conservation messages and garnering public support. However, different elements of these images have been shown to potentially have either positive or negative effects on viewers’ attitudes and behaviours towards wildlife and towards the organisation posting the image. This study used a quantitative content analysis to assess the most common and engaging elements of wildlife images posted to Instagram in 2020 and 2021, using Australian conservation organisations as a case study. A total of 670 wildlife images from the Instagram accounts of 160 conservation organisation Instagram accounts were coded and analysed. Results highlight that the most common image elements used included natural backgrounds, mammals and birds, and no human presence. In addition, it was found that the taxon of the animal featured in a post and the presence of humans did not impact engagement levels. Our findings highlight the potential for Instagram posts to feature and promote a wide range of currently underrepresented species, and for conservation organisations to be able to confidently share and post images that promote positive perceptions of both the animal and the conservation organisation.

History

Journal

Animals

Volume

12

Article number

1787

Pagination

1-16

Location

Basel, Switzerland

ISSN

2076-2615

eISSN

2076-2615

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

14

Publisher

MDPI