From a cursory glance at my Instagram feed, it seems that the popularity of my posts has more to do with content than with composition. In fact, almost all of my high-performing photographs feature me at center stage. When I appear with a partner, number of likes decreases — perhaps because people have to spend more time identifying the poster. Meanwhile, portraits of friends and family (in which I am not present) receive the fewest likes. There’s also an inverse correlation between popularity and caption length, with top-performing photos featuring short phrases rather than full sentences.

Based on this theory, the self-portraits below (which I have not yet posted on Instagram) would yield top popularity, particularly if paired with a concise caption.