Complimenting Behaviour on Instagram: The case of Bookstagram

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNpeer-review


In the Instagram in-group community of #bookstagram, which has recently attracted scholarly interest, photographs provide the impetus to various forms of interaction, one of which is complimenting. This study was based on the hypothesis that compliments affect the co-construction of in-group identity. I combined qualitative and quantitative methods to analyse a corpus of data to examine how compliments in Greek are constructed in the socio-digital context. The data was retrieved from 161 posts uploaded within a timespan of six months by three remarkably active Greek users. Additionally, a short questionnaire was distributed to explore the participants’ perceptions on the role of complimenting within this community. The results reveal that the affordances of Instagram as a platform and the bookstagram community itself affect the construction and the rate of occurrence of compliments; they tend to be formulaic and are more frequently manifested than comments which do not convey or express any sort of complimenting attitudes. Direct compliments (verbal, non-verbal or a combination of both forms) appear to be more recurrent than indirect complimenting strategies. As for the main topics, they involved either possessions or performance. Since the complimenters are members of the bookstagram community, the function of compliments in the virtual space of Instagram appears to establish a type of digital solidarity, which serves as a requirement for the construction of in-group identity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPapers from the Lancaster University Postgraduate Conference in Linguistics & Language Teaching
Subtitle of host publicationPapers from LAEL PG 2021
EditorsPernille Bogø Jørgensen, Sam Oliver
Place of PublicationLancaster
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event15th Lancaster Postgraduate Conference in Linguistics and Language Teaching -
Duration: 23 Jul 202124 Jul 2021
Conference number: 15


Conference15th Lancaster Postgraduate Conference in Linguistics and Language Teaching
Abbreviated titleLAEL
OtherThis conference is designed to give linguistics postgraduates from various areas in linguistics an opportunity to present and discuss their research in an informal and intellectually stimulating setting. The conference is organized by postgraduate students under the auspices of the Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University.
Internet address


  • compliments
  • computer-mediated discourse
  • Instagram
  • bookstagram
  • identity construction


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