Harry Potter fans celebrate 20 years of magic with social media spells

Harry Potter fans celebrate 20 years of magic with social media spells
Posted at 11:00 AM, Jun 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-26 08:01:00-04

(RNN) – The Boy Who Lived continues to live on in pop culture.

Social media outlets are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book with special features based on the wizarding world.

Facebook is creating a little magic by applying colors to the four houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry when you type in Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin into your status.

Also by typing in "Harry Potter," the words turn Gryffindor red, but other characters aren't afforded the Facebook magic. Oh, and there's a little wand flourish, too.

However, it doesn’t seem to be a universal update, and it may depend on your web browser and country.

On Twitter, there is a Harry Potter emoji that features Potter’s famous lightning-shaped scar above round glasses. Follow along at the hashtag #HarryPotter20

Your tweet could even be featured in Kings Cross station in London, where young wizards and witches caught the train to Hogwarts on Platform 9 3/4.

SnapChat is featuring a filter with the scar and glasses, as well.

On June 23, 1997, Bloomsbury published Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which is the title in the UK. The book was renamed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for its U.S. debut a year later, published by Scholastic.

Author J.K. Rowling said the book was rejected by “loads” of publishing houses before Bloomsbury took a chance.

Twenty years ago, Rowling was a single mother of two living on welfare and wrote most of the first book at a café in Edinburgh. Now her seven-book series has sold more than 450 million copies worldwide and been translated into 79 languages, and that café - The White Elephant House – is a tourist attraction.

After the Sorcerer’s Stone, the other books followed (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,) along with the movies.

The phenomenon saw long lines waiting for the next installment at bookstores, which made each book release into large events such as midnight release parties and even created security issues. Supposedly someone tried to leak "The Half-Blood Prince" online, but it was determined to be a fake.

The movies made stars out of three kids who continue to act as adults; Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint.

The books are credited with increasing literacy and an interest in reading by kids – and maybe a few adults. 

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