6 Tips to improve your Instagram images

You know a great image when you see one, but what makes it more appealing than others? More relevantly, what can you do to improve your Instagram feed?

It isn't easy to breakdown what makes a killer Instagram post. Thankfully, our friends at Curalate analysed over 8,000,000 Instagram posts, examining more than 30 characteristics - with some interesting findings!

1. Lightness

Images with high lightness generate 24% more likes than dark images.

Source: @sugarandcreamcakes

2. Background

Images with a high amount of background space generated 29% more likes than those without.

Why? Background provides context and therefore allows an image to possess more meaning. Background also helps composition by enabling the photographer to more clearly communicate the salient feature to a viewer, and set up a frame for the image.

Source: @redmagz.indonesia

3. Dominant colour

Images with blue as the dominant colour generate 24% more likes than images that are predominantly red.

This corresponds mutliple studies that found blue to be the world's favorite colour, more than twice as popular as any other colour. However, this is a less actionable finding in our opinion. Why? Because you can't change the colour of something (unless you go overboard with post-production, which we don't recommend!) Luckily, the number of blue dominant images is an order of magnitude higher than red dominant images. Indeed, many of our favorite things are blue - the ocean, the sky, Taylor Swift's eyes..

So if you're choosing a colour theme for your feed and it matches your brand, it's probably a good idea. Otherwise, we don't recommend changing anything you do based on this statistic.

Source: @vickiee_yo

4. Number of colours

Images with a single dominant colour generate 17% more likes than images with multiple dominant colours.

This is logical. Expert photographers frequently talk about keeping images simple, with fewer competing elements. Multiple colours add to complexity.

Source: @broadst_doughco

5. Saturation

Images with low saturation generate 18% more likes than those with more vibrant colours.

Just like the more colours finding, more saturation means more elements shouting for attention.

6. Texture

Images with high levels of texture generate 79% more likes than those without.

Source: @whenharrymetsalad