It’s no secret modern society is dominated by the evolution of technology and communication. One of the products of this evolution is the fast-paced, emoji-ridden world of social media. Perhaps one of the most successful experiments in social media is the popular photography app Instagram. There are millions of users on Instagram, yet some accounts seem to draw more attention than others. Why is this? What makes one account more attractive than the next? More plainly put- why does she get 345 likes and I only get 130?

First, we need to look at the pictures being posted themselves. The quality, lightning, location, and the overall setup of the photo. Quality photos generally receive more appreciation than grainy or blurry photography. Some dedicated ‘grammers even use professional-grade cameras and upload the photos to their phone before posting. Lighting is everything. Using brighter, more vibrant pictures captures attention and attracts more likes. Location, location, location! Having quirky, hipster-like locations ensures maximum likes for your latest post. However equally as important is setup. Asymmetry is very attractive to the eye, especially if the emphasis is placed on the left hand side of the photo. (Since most of us are right-handed, our eyes tend to linger there.) If there are people in the photo or it’s a selfie being posted, try and make the poses unique and interesting (candids are always a good go-to).

Next, you have to look at the structure of your account. If you want more followers, (more likes) you have to make your account public. It allows people to “creep” and decide they want to follow you. They can’t do that if they’re scared to look at your account in the first place because you’ll know they’re creeping (gosh, social media is difficult). Make your bio short and descriptive, and try to avoid overusing emojis in it- and in your captions for that matter. Also, where you live and who you know plays into it. Obviously Kim K has more of a celebrity reach than you or me. But you can't help that. What you can do is the steps listed above.

Finally, what seems to be the most important factor in a successful social media account is the dreaded concept of timing. When is the optimal time to post the picture in order to receive the maximum amount of likes? (These are the questions that keep us up at night). Generally speaking, 10 p.m. is a decent weekday time to post a picture. Most people are wrapping up with their day and settling down to some social media and/or Netflix. However, if it’s the weekend, this might be the worst time. Everyone’s out and nobody is on social media. You’re better off waiting until midnight or even later to post.

While all of this stuff is important to your Insta account, what’s most important about Instagram and social media in general is your ability to make connections and be creative in ways impossible without it. So enjoy the app, but remember that it is just that- an app. Happy ‘gramming!