When you publish photos on social networks you won’t always get the same number of “Likes”—that’s normal. It’s worth noticing, though, that the most successful photos on sites like Instagram tend to have one thing in common: color. Visual impact is a crucial element of photography and its reflected in the number of Likes a photo gets. So, do you want to know which color is best at grabbing viewers’ attention online?

According to a study done by Curalate, images with blue tones receive the most interactions on Instagram. The specialized visual analysis study aimed to quantify the visual impact of colors on the photo platform, which has become basically synonymous with the mass viewing of photography. The study examined more than 8 million images on the social network and showed that images in which bluish colors predominate capture the most attention among users, generating 24% more Likes than images with warm tones like red and orange.

For example, if we were to publish the two photos below on Instagram, the image on the left would manage to attract a higher number of hearts from your followers. In addition, other factors to consider are that when a single tone predominates the image receives 40% more Likes than those that have several different colors, and those that users find most attractive have a level of saturation lower than 15%.

comparación fotografías color

In turn, images with more vibrant colors—between 20% and 40%—are apparently less attractive to the public, meaning that if you want to increase the number of Likes on your images you should choose low-saturation blue tones that cover 40% of the photo. We’re sure to start seeing ads that conform to these parameters in order to grab the attention and have a greater impact on consumers; this is especially true now that Instagram will begin integrating ads into its platform.

All this data is actually no more than the consequence of the application of psychology to color. Blue inspires confidence, calm, melancholy, and profound feelings, while warmer tones are related with stronger emotions that we often unconsciously try to avoid.

Another study related to the diffusion of photos has shown that the new system for displaying images in Twitter feeds has increased the number of clicks, retweets, and favorites on the social network. Until recently, in order to see content attached to tweets you had to click on the links, but now that these are automatically expanded the number of RTs has grown 150%, favorites have grown 89%, and clicks on these posts have increased 18%.

Although this phenomenon may be a result of the novelty of this new feature, images remain a key tool in any outreach strategy. Thus, if you want your photos or messages to reach the greatest number of people you have to combine both tactics, giving due consideration to both visual impact as well as the best way to publish them in your social networks.

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