In addition to reaching 500 million users this past summer, Instagram has become a go-to social media platform for music sharing and discovery. On Thursday (December 1), the photo and video-sharing app shared a compilation of year-end data with Fast Company, revealing which recording artists gained the most followers in 2016, and which artists and songs were mentioned the most.
The lists for most followers gained and most mentioned songs unsurprisingly read like the top of the Spotify 100 playlist with appearances by Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, and One Direction, but one rapper on their list of Artists With The Most Instagram Mentions in 2016 was a bit of a surprise.
Checking in at No. 14, following Drake (No. 8) and Kanye West (No. 13), is... Wale?
2016 has clearly been a great year for the Maybach Music emcee, who released both a Gold-certified single ("My PYT") and a highly-acclaimed mixtape, recorded the bulk of a brand new full-length album entitled Shine, and welcomed a baby girl into the world. Still, despite all the winning the DMV native has done over the past 11 months, could Wale really be the third most mentioned rapper on Instagram in 2016?
While Fast Company doesn't provide the exact number of mentions each artist received, a quick Instagram search by hashtag paints a completely different picture. Granted, a hashtag search query provides an all-time tally, not just a total for 2016, and mentions don't need to come in the form of a hashtag, but the gap between Kanye (3.5 million) and Wale (389k) is more than 3.1 million.
In case you're wondering, Eminem (2.9 million), Jay Z (2.5 million), Lil Wayne (1.2 million), Kendrick Lamar (1 million), Wiz Khalifa (1 million) Meek Mill (1 million) and J. Cole (950k), just to name a few, have all been hashtagged more than Wale, and by extension mentioned more times than Wale, but none of them appear on Instagram's 2016 most mentions list.
Insert "thinking face" emoji.