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Insta-Fame no match for the real thing

UK-based online photo services retailer Inkifi has scored a PR win with its recent ‘research’ producing a listicle of what it claims are ‘the world’s famous photos’.

Inkifi gives this shot of workers atop the Rockerfeller Centre in New York (1932) the title of second most famous photograph in the world.

Everybody loves a ‘World’s Most Famous’ list so never mind that Inkifi’s research only involved measuring how many times an image had been searched for on the internet: ‘we used a reverse image search to show the significance and reach, by looking at how often each photo appeared on the internet.’

Henri Cartier-Bresson missed the cut!

Way out in front is Man on the Moon, attributed to NASA, with almost twice the reverse image searches as the next most searched for, which is that slightly less famous but familiar unattributed pic of a bunch of workers in New York having lunch and a fag on a steel girder atop a skyscraper.

The Most Famous list was naturally enough biased towards photojournalism. It included another image from space – Earthrise by Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders; Steve McCurry’s Afghan Girl (1984); Nick Ut’s ‘Napalm Girl’ photograph from 1972; Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange (1936); Neil Leifer’s 1965 boxing image of Muhammad Ali v Sonny Liston; Einstein’s Birthday by Arthur Sasse (1951); and an image of the Wright Brothers’ first flight from 1903.

Prior to conducting the image search, Inkifi used a couple of existing resources, Time magazine’s listing of the 100 most influential photos and a list of the 10 most famous photos from online art sales website Artalistic.

Inkifi used Image Search app Tineye, hence the relatively small number of image searches which the list is based on. It would be interesting to know whether the results using the massive Google reverse image search database would have been similar.

Inkifi also made another, much more stupid list of the 20 most Instagram-famous photos.  Footballer Christiano Rinaldo features in four of these, followed by Lionel Messi and Billie Eilish, with three each. The list will no doubt be totally different in six month’s time, such is the ephemeral nature of Instafame.

(Source: Inkifi)

It appears that all the most Insta-famous pics are selfies, except for the image which came first, proving. finally, that it was the egg and not the chicken all along!




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