Do photos with above-average engagement on Instagram have any qualities in common? Does the use of tags lead to more likes and comments? Are people more likely to interact with images featuring certain filters and colors?
To find out, Dan Zarrella examined data in 2014 from nearly 1.5 million images posted by more than 500,000 users on Instagram.
Zarella analyzed various elements—including tags, captions, and visual characteristics—to see which correlated to higher than average likes per follower and comments per follower.
Some key findings from the analysis include the following:
- Photos with more tags receive more likes and comments, on average.
- Images without a filter applied get more likes and comments, on average, than those that have been filtered.
- Including a call to action in the image caption leads to more likes and comments.
- Brighter photos tend to get more likes than darker photos do.
- Photos that are desaturated get more likes on average, as do those that primarily feature "cool" colors such as blue, gray, and green.
- Images that include faces get more likes, on average.