Becoming an Instagram star is a puzzle tougher than breaking the Enigma Code. Aside from knowing when to upload a shot for maximum exposure on the social network, you’ve also got to know what subjects work best for generating Likes, the right mix of colours, and which filters perform best at which times to help it pop on social feeds.
Thankfully, the smart folks at BBC’s Tomorrow’s World have created a Facebook Messenger chatbot that analyses and predicts the photos your followers will likely love the most. By linking to your Instagram account, Tomorrow’s World’s chatbot will analyse your account, looking at what your followers have liked and the composition of shots to uncover what your specific followers react to most.
To get the chatbot to analyse an image for you, to see if it’s worthy of going on Instagram, you simply need to get talking to it via Facebook Messenger. After a couple of questions and an agreement to the terms and conditions, you’ll be able to upload a photo for analysis and get feedback on what it is that made your post a potential success – or what would make it an absolute failure.
As the chatbot analyses your image, it also dishes out some insights into how people generally use Instagram.
For instance, the “breakfast” hashtag is by far the most popular tag on Instagram and, by including a landmark in your photo, it’s likely to perform better as people can relate to recognisable locations. The bot also explained that people like posts that showcase a positive emotion like happiness or hope as it lets people feel like they too can share in the emotion.
Interestingly, blue is classed as a “trending” colour on Instagram, apparently due to its potential to “evoke feelings of serenity and calmness”. However, a piece of research last year highlighted how blue-tinted or colour-draining filters generally suggested posters were dealing with depression – whether they knew it or not.
So, by that logic, a photo of two happy people holding breakfast opposite the Eiffel Tower on a clear blue sunny day should do pretty damn well. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of that.
Needless to say, even if the Tomorrow’s World bot isn’t the most chatty out there – it can only respond to specific commands – its powers of analysis are impressive. Having uploaded a photo of the former Mobile Suit Gundam statue that once stood in Odaiba, Tokyo, the bot successfully recognised the statue and the building it was stood in front of.
Yet despite all of its analysis – and its praising of my inclusion of landmarks – it still seemed to think this photo of the Audi e-tron would fare better with my followers. While I’d probably agree, it’s a little strange as it chastised me for not including a landmark or any notable emotions.
It’s clear Tomorrow’s World’s chatbot isn’t to be taken seriously as a resource for effective Instagram posting, but it’s certainly an interesting look into what people like to see on their feeds while scrolling through on the bus home.