Skip to content
Technology & Innovation

Which Photo Filters Boost Engagement the Most?

How do you increase the chance that a user will comment on your photo? Researchers say use a warm filter.

The science of how to increase user engagement online has been one of constant study.

For Guy Kawasaki, it has been a huge part of his career. He has become a big name in the social media industry, known for his innovative approaches. In his interview with Big Think, he talks about how Apple positioned itself to take center stage in the tech world:

Jesse Singal of NYMag writes on a very specific aspect of engagement. This interesting new study comprised of a team of researchers from Georgia Tech and Yahoo Labs who sought to find out what kinds of filters drove up engagement among users on Flickr. The paper, entitled Why We Filter Our Photos and How It Impacts Engagement, consisted of two parts: one qualitative and the other quantitative.

The researchers write that “there is little work — scholarly or otherwise — around filters, their use, and their effect on photo-sharing communities.”

They started by interviewing 15 Flickr enthusiasts, consisting of casual and serious photographers, and asked them about their filtering habits when they uploaded images. The researchers write:

“The serious see filters as correction tools and prefer milder effects. Casual photographers, by contrast, use filters to significantly transform their photos with bolder effects.”

Their analysis consisted of researchers reviewing 7.6 million Flickr photos uploaded from its mobile app (most of which were cross-posts from Instagram). They took note of the frequency of views as well as the number of comments on the post. From this part of the study, the researchers noticed an interesting trend. They wrote:

“We also find that filtered photos are 21 percent more likely to be viewed and 45 percent more likely to be commented on by consumers of photographs. Specifically, filters that increase warmth, exposure, and contrast boost engagement the most.”

Keep in mind that utilizing these effects won’t guarantee your photo will go viral. There are plenty of amazing photos without these qualities that are much more popular than any mobile snapshot with a filter.

Read the entire study or check out the summary at NYMag.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


Up Next