3 Ways Enhancing Your Instagram Photos Boosts ‘Likes’

Image Courtesy of Jonathen Chen
Image Courtesy of Jonathen Chen

by Marisa Ross

Wow! That sunset was majestic, but this photo I took isn’t doing it justice. Maybe I should tweak it. I know! I’ll boost the saturation level to make the colors more vivid — wait, no — I’ll soften it with the Sierra filter to make it look vintage. Or perhaps I should just leave it as #nofilter.

Sound familiar? If you’ve ever debated about choosing an Instagram filter, you’ve probably wondered which setting, on average, yields the most likes. Luckily, experts have found ways to help maximize your photos’ presence and ease your filter frustrations.

Here are three simple tips to transform your Instagrams into (Win)stagrams:

  1. Stick to the simple filters or none at all. Your rose-shaped cupcake shot may never get 100,000 likes like Lauren Conrad’s does — because, well…you’re not Lauren Conrad — but you can still take her advice. In her blog she said she keeps it “simple and stick(s) to Nashville or Valencia” Otherwise, she said abstaining from filters and opting for saturation and contrast fixes are more effective.
  1. Look for hues of blue. Although bold and bright colors are striking to the eye, an analytics firm called Curalate discovered photos with blue tints were 24 percent more probable to get a “like” than red- and orange-dominant shots. The Philadelphia-based firm observed more than 8 million images on the app to determine these results. Furthermore, it found photos with less saturation gained more likes than those with filters like Kelvin and Hefe.
  1. Check your stats. A handy site called Iconosquare can analyze your followers’ interactions with the filter selections from your personal pictures. Let’s take a look at the results, pictured below, from my @crisscrossrissross
Marisa’s results from Iconosquare
Marisa’s results from Iconosquare

I don’t use a filter often, but that doesn’t guarantee more likes or comments. Rise, the filter I use most, had the best feedback. However, my second-most-used filter, Valencia, did not make the list of receiving the most positive results.

Keep in mind other factors generate likes and comments, such as the photo’s content, composition, lighting, your number of followers and so on. But if you use these tips while editing, you’ll see subtle changes can make a big difference.

 (Fun fact: An MIT research group formulated an algorithm to predict a photo’s popularity before it’s posted. Find out your image’s results here!)


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