New Study Finds That Instagram Users Tend To Like Photographs That Are Not So Great

Senior Contributor
11.12.13 2 Comments

Instagram is, like it or not, here to stay, and does occasionally have some upsides. But, let’s face it, this is a social network about attention-whoring, moreso than most. And thanks to science, now you can attention-whore it up like a professional.

Curalate, a Philadelphia research firm, crunched the numbers on Instagram likes and found that the photos that got the most likes had the following attributes:

  • Predominantly one color; ideally, that color is blue.
  • They were bright.
  • They were desaturated.
  • They had a high amount of background space.
  • And, something that’s really got to hurt over at Facebook HQ, they were uploaded through Twitter.

Less than shockingly, almost all of these are the hallmarks of crappy pictures. The reason Instagram users like blue so much is that a camera with the improper white balance will depict sunlight, which has a high color temperature, in a bluish tone. The brightness and desaturation is generally a hallmark of a picture taken outside with lots of light. And the high visibility, well, that’s pretty obvious; they want to know what they’re looking at.

I’ve long argued that the real appeal of Instagram and its faux-Polaroid shtick is not sharing photos, but being able to crapify your photos enough that nobody can complain that they suck. Most snapshots, to be fair, aren’t high art in the first place, but egos are sensitive enough, and the Internet is harsh enough, that there’s a lot of appeal in hiding behind a few filters.

That said, it would be nice to see some genuine photography on said social network. Or at least better-framed cat photos.

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