Harry Potter Named Most Influential Book Series

potterRecently, Facebook users have been participating in the “10 Books That Have Stayed With You” challenge, and — as the name implies — posting the 10 books that had the biggest impact on them. In yet another example of how the social network can be used to find valuable information, Facebook has crunched the data and found which books had the biggest influence on participants.

Unsurprisingly, the Harry Potter series topped the charts.

Taking “anonymized, aggregate data” from over 130,000 statuses with either “10 books” or “Ten books” in them from the last two weeks of August 2014, Facebook found that the Harry Potter books appeared in a full 21% of the lists, which cumulatively contained over 500 titles.

The second most influential book was To Kill a Mockingbird, with The Lord of the RingsThe Hobbit, and Pride and Prejudice coming in third, fourth, and fifth respectively.

This analysis is yet another example of how much data can be gleaned from Facebook. It seems that almost every week, a new study of Facebook users is coming out. For example, September alone has seen the release of a study showing that Facebook users in romantic relationships use the social network to spy on their partners; a Pew Research Center report that found Facebook users were hesitant to discuss Edward Snowden online; and even a study that found Facebook to be the most popular venue for online harassment, stalking, and other abuse.

“Businesses that participate in social media have the advantage over their competition for one big reason – valuable data. With the data collected they can then effectively target a certain demographic and run a more strategic marketing campaign,” says Kelly Cooper, Marketing/PR for Agency 850.

Similar to these other Facebook studies, the top-10 book analysis did reveal something more surprising than what most had already assumed — it found that there’s a wide and eclectic range of books out there influencing people. It’s not just the same reads over and over again.

Perhaps that’s the biggest takeaway here — that literature beyond school reading and best seller lists is changing lives.


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