How many people are in your fandom? If you’re involved in sports, gaming, and other more mainstream fan activities, you probably have plenty of ways to measure fandom activity through game attendance, merchandise sales, YouTube views, and other noticeable numbers. But in female-dominated online fandoms, fans often occupy their own spaces and have less direct interaction with the things they’re enthusiastic about.
It’s never been easy to visualize the often-hidden practice of fanfiction and other online fandom activities. But more and more, fans are changing that through the use of statistical analysis. One of the leaders of this trend is Tumblr user destinationtoast, who frequently posts fandom analytics on her Tumblr Toasty Stats. Toasty recently did a much-shared survey of what 2015 looked like in fandom from multiple perspectives. As even a cursory look at fandom statistics reveals, fandom communities differ vastly from platform to platform, and even fandom to fandom.
On the fanfiction archive Archive of Our Own (AO3), the dominant fandoms are nearly all ones in which male/male slash relationships are extremely popular. Meanwhile, on Wattpad, the mighty One Direction dwarfs all other fandoms, while the older and longstanding Fanfiction.net is still dominated by equally longstanding fandoms like Naruto and Harry Potter.