Image-based social networks are environments where users share their photographs and involuntarily contribute to evolve and to spread the meaning of things. For this reason, it is essential to use this source of information to determine how people perceive cultural heritage, specifically building heritage. These interactive spaces have a visual component that is essential to understand users’ perception of heritage architecture and that may also influence the dissemination of images. This research aims to describe the social concept of architectural heritage on Instagram and to explore whether the aesthetic appeal resources influence its dissemination. Images indexed to the hashtag #patrimonioarquitectonico (Spanish language version of #architecturalheritage) were collected for the period of three months (n = 180 images). A graphical and observational analysis was performed on categories of four variables of aesthetical appeal: human dimension, color, linear perspective and aesthetical quality. Subsequently, descriptive, cross-tabulation and variance analyses were applied. The findings have proven that regular users share a fairly heterogeneous vision of building types concerning architectural heritage, and that there are stakeholder accounts that could be altering their meaning due to strategies to protect residential areas. The paper describes how the aesthetic appeal variables add meaning to the social perception of the building heritage and which ones statistically influence its dissemination in terms of likes and engagement on Instagram.
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