LONDON, June 27 — Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of the publication of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Some of the world’s most popular social networks marked the occasion in their own ways:
Facebook surprised its users yesterday with an Easter egg that filled the screen with sparks from a wand.
All users had to do was add “Harry Potter” or the names of any of the four houses of Hogwarts to any Facebook post, and then click on that name. This automatically unlocked a magic wand that spewed flashing lights and smoke clouds all over their Facebook page.
As a bonus, each house was automatically printed in the right colour. Potter’s own name showed up in red, given that he’s a member of Gryffindor.
An emoji appeared when people typed the hashtag #HarryPotter20.
Google took Potter fans on a Google Earth tour to the places that inspired Rowling and the producers of the Harry Potter films.
These included London’s King’s Cross station, as well as the real-life castle that was used as Hogwarts in the first two films, the film set of the Hogwarts dining hall and more.
Joanne Kathleen Rowling had struggled through poverty before winning a £1,500 (RM8,185) publishing deal with Bloomsbury to print 1,000 copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
The first hardback run, on June 26, 1997, was just 500 copies. The series as a whole has now been translated into 79 languages and have sold more than 450 million copies worldwide.