Want Your Instagram Photos To Get Attention? Use The Color Blue

A new study of more than 30 million Instagram images shows which pictures are likely to get the most likes.


Here are a few things you should keep in mind when posting pictures to Instagram to get the most likes:

  1. Images with blue as a dominant color perform 24% better than those with high concentrations of red and oranges. Think #sky #bluebells #superman.
  2. Bright images perform 24% better than dark images. Think #sunnyday #LEDs #TimesSquare.
  3. Duck-face selfies generate a crazy 1,112% more likes than normal ones. (OK, kidding)

The above findings come to you thanks to some number crunching by Curalate, a visual analytics and marketing platform that published a similar study based on Pinterest images a few months ago. This time around, the company analyzed more than 8 million Instagram images and 30 image features including background ratio, dominant color, lightness, and saturation.

“Likes on Instagram, while incredibly valuable, are hard to come by with 65 percent of Instagram images garnering between 0 and 10 likes,” said Apu Gupta, the CEO of Curalate in a press release issued by the company. “By making a few small tweaks, brands looking to connect with consumers on visual sites like Instagram can see their engagement skyrocket, resulting in increased customer loyalty and more importantly, sales.”

The study comes at a time when Instagram is trying to generate revenue by putting ads in users’ feeds. And despite some user backlash, a sponsored post from fashion house Michael Kors, one of the first ones on Instagram, was recently liked by over 217,000 users, a increase of 360% over an unsponsored post.

In the weeks ahead, expect more studies to come as advertisers try to figure out what works best on Instagram.

About the author

Pranav Dixit has written about everything from megalomaniacal Bollywood stars to Mughal history as a reporter in New Delhi. But secretly, he has always wanted to cover technology