Hank's hashtags are (nearly) as diverse as what he does
Multi-talented Hank Green has become a TikTok sensation, answering scientific questions, and bringing levity and awareness to many topics. He often responds to the hashtag #askhank, so I went through ~2,000 #askhank TikToks to characterize the HankTok landscape.
I got the titles of 2,000 #askhank TikToks, and built a sparse matrix of which hashtags co-occur. There were >3,000 hashtags, so I kept the 206 hashtags that occurred in at least 5 videos. I brought these 206 dimensions down to 2 using t-SNE (fantastic intro blog here). The data was a little sparse, but there were clearly pockets. While some of the hashtags are directly science or TikTok related (college majors, science, chemistry, etc/fyp, foryoupage, etc), there were other pockets such as Criminal Minds (likely due to news in 2021 suggesting he’d be in the new season), Pelicans (a Hank favorite), books (Hank is an author), and a large LGBTQIA+ cluster (explained well in my all time favorite Hank Green TikTok: here 😂).
HankTok Summary Stats
While that shows the types of questions people ASK Hank, it doesn’t say much about what Hank posts. To this end, I got metadata for 1,381 of Hank’s TikToks (link to data here). It is immediately clear that Hank tends to use very few HashTags, most of which are are related to TikTok functionality, with a clear Pelican flavor:
Next, looking at his @s, there are a couple accounts he tends to ping more than others:
mrhamilton - 5 mentions
paytmitch - 5 mentions
mihoymipoi - 4 mentions
sutherlandphys - 4 mentions
sophiegstark - 4 mentions
Next, I found that Hank posts an average of 3.5 videos per day with his most prolific date ever being October 23rd, 2020 (he posted these ten videos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10). He posts the least on Monday (160 videos) and the most on Saturday (233 videos). Finally, while the actual view-count was hard to get, it was clear that Hank’s audience likes (or at least engages) with his videos that have original sounds more, and prefers stitches above replies or duets:
The constellation of ScienceTok Stars
Hank Green is (by most metrics) the biggest scientist on TikTok, but he’s by no means the only one. Looking for references to other scientific authorities by looking up the respective scientific discipline hashtag, I listed the top references for five different subjects, where the size of the icon represents the number of references:
Thanks for reading Alex’s Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.