Researchers from Rowan University in New Jersey examined a range of selfies publicly posted to Instagram. They found that using photo filters in selfies actually led to fewer likes from other users compared to unfiltered images. This is the first study to examine the number of likes on a given selfie to evaluate how other users perceive the type of image and its contents. Using techniques to improve the way the image makes you look are seen as ‘ingenuine’ by other users. The researchers looked at 1,873 selfies and analyzed which ones got the biggest reaction and whether there were any patterns in successful photos. The research team found the most successful images in terms of likes gained were ones that had social cues within the picture – such as job, hobby or relationship. In comparison, just uploading a photo of your face or body with a filter or sticker was more passive and didn’t suggest a desire to interact.
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03: A person poses with an iPhone displaying the Instagram logo on August 3, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)