Daily Infographic: How Facebook Photos Go Viral

George Takei–an actor some of you may recognize from the original Star Trek series, has a knack for posting viral photos on Facebook. Recently, the social media giant asked Stamen, a San Francisco design firm, to create a visualization showing how Takei’s photos spread.

Here’s the result:

And here’s Stamen’s description of what you’re seeing:

Each visualization is made up of a series of branches starting from a single person. As the branch grows, re-shares split off on their own arcs, sometimes spawning a new generation of re-shares, sometimes exploding in a short-lived burst of activity. The two different colors show gender, and each successive generation becomes more and more white as time goes by.

Click here to see the “Marvin the Martian” photo behind the visualization above (and to peruse Takei’s whole library of viral-grade pics.)

You can check out Stamen’s other photo visualizations here.