As it turns out, there’s a scientific reason we like to filter our photos: there’s more return on investment. According to a study by Georgia Tech and Yahoo Labs, filtered photos are 21% more likely to be viewed and are 45% more likely to be commented on than (boring) unfiltered photos.
But that’s not all. There are also types of filters that tend to be more successful than others. Researchers separated all of Instagram’s various filter forms into five categories: those that give the photo a ‘warmer’ feel, those that increase the photo’s light exposure, those that increase color saturation, those that add an age effect, and those that increase the contrast.
Maybe unsurprisingly, the filter that warmed up the photo tended to amass the most comments, and photos that utilized an increased exposure got more views on average.
On the other hand, photos that used too much saturation and age effects were less popular.
Basically, when you’re trying to score some likes for your latest cat photo, go with “warm temperatures, higher contrast, and higher exposure,” to “increase chances of receiving [both] views and comments.”
(h/t New York Magazine)