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Science can make your Facebook photos more popular

Science can make your Facebook photos more popular
Photo courtesy of shutter stock

Do you want to top Ellen's most popular selfie ever? We know this man does.

If you want to take the most popular selfie ever, look no further than science. Researchers at MIT have created an algorithm that can accurately predict exactly how popular your social media photos will be.

The study took information from nearly 2.3 million photos on Flickr to create the algorithm, which predicts a photo's page views by analyzing the photo's image content including the color, gradient and the subject of the photo.

So what makes a popular photo? From the study:

• Use brighter colors (images with yellow and pink were significantly more popular than softer colors on the blue-green spectrum)

• Sex sells (among the 1,000 “object classes” analyzed, the ones with the most “positive impact” included bikinis, bras and miniskirts)

• People like people (heatmaps visualizing the contributions of different regions of an image to its popularity skew towards regions that have humans and away from regions with scenery)

• Add tags (Flickr photos with more tags show up more in search and therefore get more views)

Source: MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL)
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