Instagram employs dubious data to determine most popular Thanksgiving pies by state

Pecan pie on black background
Photo: Wanwisa Hernandez / EyeEm (Getty Images)

Mom, I’m gonna have to call you back—the social media titans are making food maps again. This time, Instagram has released a “pie chart” (nyuk nyuk nyuk) that reveals the most popular Thanksgiving pies by state. It’s pretty innocuous at first glance; the chart includes seasonal favorites like cherry, pecan, pumpkin, sweet potato, and apple. But wait. I’m also seeing cranberry? I’m seeing strawberry and blueberry? The people demand answers, Instagram.

Advertisement
Graphic designed by Instagram shared via PR
Graphic: Instagram

Turns out, the app sourced the data based on the likes and mentions of pie flavors over the last month from in-feed and Instagram Story posts. Instagram then used that data to determine each state’s “favorite” flavor. This methodology has prompted some serious internal speculation here at The Takeout. First, what if I hopped on my Instagram story to talk a bunch of shit on pumpkin pie? Is that still a tally for pumpkin in the great state of Illinois? And since I’m from Missouri, does my preference count toward Missouri’s tally or the one in Illinois? Then, there’s the dubious nature of the chosen pies. You’re telling me that apple pie only made the cut in one state (thank you, Connecticut)? You’re going to look me dead in the eye and tell me that FOUR states have selected STRAWBERRY PIE as their go-to Thanksgiving dessert? And what even is a cranberry pie? Ultimately, I’ve gleaned very little from this baffling, albeit festive, graphic. I may be a bit more discerning about the pie content I post to my personal story, though. Instagram is always watching.

Staff writer @ The Takeout, joke writer elsewhere. Wrangling dogs and pork shoulder in Chicago.

DISCUSSION

bigjojobongo
bigjojobongo

OK I have never eaten, been offered a slice of or seen for sale or trade cranberry pie.