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They apparently love tagging pictures on Instagram in Bangkok

More fun with 2013 trends: this time, Instagram released its top geo-tagged locations of 2013. In the top 10 are some places you’d expect — Times Square, both Disneyland and Disney World, and the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas. But none of those are No. 1; instead, No. 1 is the Siam Paragon Mall in Bangkok, Thailand — and No. 9 is the Bangkok Airport. The rest of the top 10 is U.S. locations, so two places in the world popped bigger for Instagram in 2013: the United States and Thailand. 60 percent of Instagram users are now from outside the U.S., per their blog, and the 10 most geo-tagged cities in the world this year were:

  1. New York City, NY, USA

  2. Bangkok, Thailand

  3. Los Angeles, CA, USA

  4. London, UK

  5. São Paulo, Brazil

  6. Moscow, Russia

  7. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  8. San Diego, CA, USA

  9. Las Vegas, NV, USA

  10. San Francisco, CA, USA

The list was similar in 2012, although the Eiffel Tower seems to have dropped off in 2013. That was a surprise to some.

This picture of Will Smith and Justin Bieber was the most-liked photo of the year on the site, too.

For those of you in a strictly-U.S. mindset who don’t understand how places in Bangkok can be the most-Instagrammed in the world for two years running, consider a few things: Bangkok is one of the world’s largest cities and it’s one of the world’s most-visited cities:

(Although admittedly, the political chaos hasn’t been helpful in this latter regard.)

Siam Paragon is also roughly the 24th-largest mall in the world, which doesn’t even top Bangkok; CentralWorld is actually the sixth-largest shopping complex in the entire world (the highest the U.S. gets on that list is No. 18, with King of Prussia in PA; Mall of America is right behind at No. 19).

If you think you’ve heard about Siam Paragon before, you may very well have. It’s where 852 Thai children set a new world record for ‘world’s largest human Christmas tree’ earlier this winter. Interesting thing is: because Thailand is predominantly Buddhist, Christmas is by no means an official holiday — but stores and malls do decorate for the season.

Broader trend lines here? Not especially. Instagram is growing in popularity in places like Brazil, Russia and Thailand, and kids of all ages and cultures like to check in at places. Not news there, per se. A Bangkok mall beating Times Square and both Disney parks is pretty interesting, though — as is the rise of more “Western” ideas (like the very concept of Instagram and setting world records) in Bangkok. I’m not sure Instagram trend reports say anything broadly about the world we live in and the direction it’s heading — when I think of Instagram I still think of this, even after the Facebook purchase — but it’s interesting to consider, if nothing else.

Ted Bauer

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