That we like faces in our photos – or simply that we like faces – was reconfirmed by a new study at Georgia Tech. “Instagram photos that include faces are far more likely to get likes from followers than those without,” Mashable cites the study as finding. “Of 1.1 million randomly-selected Instagram photos analyzed with face detection software, those with faces were 38% more likely to get Likes and 32% more likely to get comments,” the authors found. One of them, researcher Saeideh Bakhshi, told Mashable that, because we’re social creatures, seeing faces is “comforting to us and makes us [feel] safe,” and apparently that’s as true in social media as it is in offline settings.
A couple of other interesting findings:
- Age, gender not factors: Though the number of faces in the photo affects engagement, the age and gender of the faces in it don’t, and “male users are just as likely to get comments and likes [as] female Instagram users.
- Moderation is good here too: “Though Instagram users with more followers experience more interaction, “those who post too frequently see a dip in engagement. The more you upload, the less likes and comments you get.”