Thursday, October 20, 2011

How do you get on the Popular Page?

First of all, the Popular Page is NOT a validation of anyone's talent. if you doubt that, just go look at it. Nevertheless, it is a great way to get some exposure for your work and attract new followers. If you're wonder what it takes to get on the Popular Page, here's a few things I've figured out.

  • A pic can only make the Popular Page within the first hour after it has been posted. It's based on a "secret" algorithm around the number of Likes and/or Comments your pic gets within that first hour. I have never seen an old pic make the Popular Page. This algorithm seems to change depending on the number of Followers you have. For me (with around 3200 Followers currently) it takes around 100 Likes in that first hour to make it. If you are averaging more than 1 like per minute in the first 20 to 30 minutes you may even hit the Pop Page early. If anyone has a better explanation of the algorithm please add your comments below. (Tip: If you have a great pic, wait to post it at a time when most of your Followers are likely to be online, so you can get those Likes within that first hour.)
  • Pics on the Popular Page rotate, so you may likely have to refresh the page numerous times in order to se your pic there. Instagram will alert you of your pic making the Poplar Page (via a Pop Up alert if you have it configured for that, or via your News Feed.) If you miss the alert, you can also see a yellow star on your pic on the website or on the Populagram website. Also, I've noticed that @Webstagram will Like the pic if it makes the Popular Page.
  • You can only have one pic on the Popular Page at a time. If you have several great shots, don't post the all at once. Space them out, so they each have an opportunity to make it.
  • Using Hashtags and Entering Challenges and Forums (such as those sponsored by @joshjohnson, that emphasize the 123 Rule) are a great way to get Likes from people who do not already follow you. It's also a great way to find new folks to follow and to pick up new Followers yourself.
  • There are some folks who hold "Get Popular" events in which they schedule a time to all Like one another's pics within a scheduled time period. I personally think that is a bit of a cheat, but since it doesn't hurt anyone else I suppose it's a valid way to boost your Follower growth. Similarly, there are "Flash Mob" style take-overs of the Popular Page to promote specific themes or agendas. I've participated in these (like the "Orton Offensive", filter oriented take over), but as the political season ramps up, I worry that non-photograph agendas may become an issue.
  • Finally, it is considered bad manners to InstaSpam people by begging for follows. "Follow me, I'll Follow Back" and similar comments frequently appear on pics that make the Popular Page. Some IGers Block people for posting those kinds of comments. I occasionally try to educate them on how it's bad manners. If you want to get followed, first, post good pics. then sincerely follow other people and Like and Comment in their pics. Eventually, some of them will follow you back. Caution, don't OVERFOLLOW so many people that you can't actually keep up with their feeds. I personally unfollow anyone who is following thousands of people and never Liking or Commenting on my pics, because the relationship is one-sided and may not be worth my effort.
What tips and insight can you share on this topic? We'd love to hear it. Leave your comments below.


  1. Great info but seriously how do you get that many followers!

  2. Getting Followers takes time and some effort. Some people beg for followers, but I think that's crass. Others post naughty pics or sexy self portraits to get followers, but I'm against the naughty pics (at least on family-friendly IG) and I'm not attractive enough to post self-portraits. Other people post theme-based pics: cats, horses, vintage signs, cars, etc, that interest people. This is a great strategy if you like sticking to a theme (using appropriate hastags in order to be found), but I'm not that specific in my picture subjects.

    My personal strategy is to follow as many people as I can keep up with and be sure to Like all their pics and comment on as many as possible. I soon discovered that I enjoyed interacting with those people. Their followers would see our conversations and start following me too. Being social, friendly, polite, funny, etc has been a fun way to engage with folks on IG and has made it more than a Picture app for myself and many other people.

    Another great way to "meet people" and pic up followers is to participate in challenges, such as Josh Johnson's daily forums and weekly challenges. Challenges like his that use a 123 Rule (for every 1 pic you enter, you should comment on 2 others and Like 3 more), attracts potential followers. Also, challenges like those sponsored by @homework and #twosisters and others are a great way to find people to follow who may in turn follow you back.

    Making friends on IG is not THAT different that in real-life. Being outgoing, polite, sincere, and friendly makes it happen faster. If you're introverted, but super-talented then being social may not be your thing, so challenges and hastags are a good way to get exposure.

  3. one trick i have been using that has worked well to not only boost my follower count but also likes and comments and find genuinly interesting IGers is by going to similar IGers, (i post pictures of graffiti, street art, stickers and other things of the sort) going to their followers page and liking maybe 50 at a time at random. In no wat do i condone mass following and unfollowing(like twitter boosters do) But i follow as many users as i can before i get bored and quit, follow these users for a few days and later go through and weed out the users i dont find worth a follow. this boosts the activity on my page(likes comments followers) and also helps me find new people to follow. This gets your account the attention you want, and also introduces you to new people. I do this maybe once a week and my activity has skyrocketed. and best of all its all users of similar interest, as apposed to these follow trains and spam kids that dont care what your posting or are only posting to get likes and follow backs. legit followers. Just my two cents. If youre into graffiti or street art you should check out my page, if not i hope this helped! have a great day! ig- Omar_Little

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