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Zika-Virus-Related Photo Sharing on Pinterest and Instagram

  • Isaac Chun-Hai Fung (a1), Elizabeth B. Blankenship (a1), M. Elizabeth Goff (a1), Lindsay A. Mullican (a1), Kwun Cheung Chan (a2), Nitin Saroha (a3), Carmen H. Duke (a1), Marina E. Eremeeva (a4), King-Wa Fu (a2) and Zion Tsz Ho Tse (a5)...



Pinterest (San Francisco, CA) and Instagram (Menlo Park, CA) are 2 popular photo-sharing social media platforms among young individuals. We assessed differences between Instagram and Pinterest in relaying photographic information regarding Zika virus. Specifically, we investigated whether the percentage of Zika-virus-related photos with Spanish or Portuguese texts embedded therein was higher for Instagram than for Pinterest and whether the contents of Zika-virus-related photos shared on Pinterest were different from those shared on Instagram.


We retrieved and manually coded 616 Pinterest (key words: “zika” AND “virus”) and 616 Instagram (hashtag: #zikavirus) photos.


Among the manually coded samples, 47% (290/616) of Pinterest photos and 23% (144/616) of Instagram photos were relevant to Zika virus. Words were embedded in 57% (164/290) of relevant Pinterest photos and all 144 relevant Instagram photos. Among the photos with embedded words, photos in Spanish or Portuguese were more prevalent on Instagram (77/144, 53%) than on Pinterest (14/164, 9%). There were more Zika-virus-related photos on Instagram than on Pinterest pertinent to Zika virus prevention (59/144, 41%, versus 41/290, 14%; P<0.0001), the effects of Zika virus on pregnancy (27/144, 19%, versus 32/290, 11%; P=0.04), and Zika-virus-associated deaths (4/144, 2%, versus 0/290, 0%; P=0.01).


Pinterest and Instagram are similar platforms for Zika virus prevention communication. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:656–659)


Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Isaac Chun-Hai Fung, PO Box 8015, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA 30460-8015 (e-mail:


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These 2 authors serve jointly as co-first authors.

These 3 authors serve jointly as co-senior authors.



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Type Description Title
Supplementary materials

Fung supplementary material
Appendix A

 PDF (933 KB)
933 KB
Supplementary materials

Fung supplementary material
Appendix B

 PDF (312 KB)
312 KB


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