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Study reveals how to get more likes on Instagram

Instagram has attracted millions of users sharing and liking photos, and a new study reveals what types of images generate more likes. Genius!



Photo sharing community Instagram has been around for several years now, but data on users’ behavior is still emerging. Visual analytics and marketing platform, Curalate analyzed over eight million Instagram posts, taking a look at background ratio, dominant color, lightness, saturation, number of colors and other specifications, and determined how each combined to produce a high-quality image that earns Likes.

Their findings indicate that the most popular images offer plenty of background space and lots of texture, but what has the internet abuzz is that pictures dominated by blue are considered the most worthy of Likes.

The blue factor

Curalate reports that images dominated by the color blue receive 24 percent more likes than those featuring high concentrations of reds and oranges. One explanation is that many people use Instagram during breaks, and with blue being the most relaxing of colors, it could simply match users’ attitudes as they use Instagram.

instagram likes

Color composition

Instagram photos with a single hue dominance perform the best, especially those that have over 40 percent of the same color. Curalate notes that although this rings true, 90 percent of the images analyzed have under 20 percent single hue dominance, indicating there is ample room for opportunity.

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instagram colors

Saturation rules

Instagram is unique because of the filters offered, and although highly saturated images are most attractive in the real world, on Instagram, photos with less than 15 percent saturation actually receive 18 percent more likes than images with 20 to 40 percent saturation.

saturation instagram likes

What about the background?

The number of likes a photo earns is also reliant upon the background space, with images featuring over 90 percent of background space have larger audiences, yet 70 percent offered less than 20 percent background. So, don’t forget to pay attention to the background.


Mind your lighting

Curalate found that images with 65 to 80 percent lighting earn 24 percent more likes than dark photos with under 45 percent lighting, so shooting in well lit scenarios is best for likes.

instagram lightness factor

Texture is ultra important

According to the study, adding texture to your photos is tremendously important, as pics with high levels of texture receive 78 percent more likes than those with lower levels of texture.

get more likes on instagram

What this all means

If you’re using Instagram as part of your brand’s social media strategy, paying attention to photography basics can help propel your images, validating your time spent sharing photos on Instagram.

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The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.



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