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Here’s How To Get The Most Likes On Instagram, According To Science

A new study reveals the filtering tweaks that will get you those coveted little hearts.

Have you ever opened Instagram to post a photo and become legitimately stressed out by all the different filter options? Not only is there the pressure of choosing the most complementary filter, but there’s also the strength of the filter to consider, as well as highlights, vignette, saturation, contrast, shadows…

Now that we think of it, all our time spent toggling over Insta tools should’ve earned us an effin’ art degree by now.

Anyway, an awesome new study from Yahoo Labs and Georgia Tech has provided some useful info for speeding up this laborious process and becoming Insta pros.

Researchers analyzed a whopping 7.6 million public photos uploaded through Flickr’s smartphone app (more than half of which were also Instagrammed) and interviewed a ton of photographers to find out the most effective ways of editing photos.

Unsurprisingly, they found that adding a filter to your pics makes people more likely to engage (aka, gift you with those little orange notifications). In other words, using #nofilter — trendy as it may be — may not be your best move. That is, unless you really, really want to rub it your friends’ faces that the ocean really IS that clear on the beach you’re vacationing at in the Caribbean.

To put it in perspective, researchers concluded that pics with filters are 21 percent more likely to be viewed and 45 percent more likely to get comments. But not all filters were created equal, and the study thankfully includes a few tips for choosing the most crowd-pleasing ones.

For example, researchers found the filters that get the most likes and comments are ones with increased contrast, corrected exposure problems, and “warmer” color temperatures. Judging by those criteria, it sounds like we should be leaning more toward Rise, Lo-Fi, and Perpetua, and leaving Reyes, Brannan, and Slumber in the dust.

Of course, you DO have to consider the actual content of the photo when predicting how popular it will be. Something tells us that if you happen to run into Harry Styles on the street and take a selfie with him, that ish will look good in ANY light.