The most photogenic bird on Instagram isn’t the cartoon macaw Rio nor the flamingo, but a species that you have certainly never heard of. Two German researchers tried to unravel the secret of these stars of the social network.
The most popular Instagram photo of all time is, “Liked” by more than 55 million people. But animals are also very popular with Internet users. The Pomeranian thus has 10.2 million subscribers, while the chat forward its adventures to 4.3 million followers.
But if these animals command attention with their daily adventures expertly orchestrated by their owner, what about wild animals? What makes an animal inherently photogenic? This question occupied two researchers at the University of Constance in Germany, who looked into the case of birds in a study published in.
Katja Thömmes and her colleague Gregor Hayn-Leichsenring examined 27,000on nine accounts totaling 3.5 million subscribers. They developed an indicator called “photo aesthetic appeal” (IAA), which normalizes the absolute number of “likes”. ” The score is positive for images that receive more than “like” than expected given the exposure of the image to Internet users, and negative otherwise », Explains the study. The researchers thus classified 116 families of birds according to their IAA score.
The podarge is the most attractive bird according to Instagram according to Internet users
It turns out that the aesthetic appeal of a photo has little to do with the conventional notion of beauty, the researchers observe. On the contrary, ” no more animal hasunique or unusual, the more people are interested », Remarks Katja Thömmes. The Instagram star is the podarge, a bird assimilated to . « The podarge is unlike any other and presents anthropomorphic characters with its two large on the face », Explains the researcher in the .
Anything that is cute and evokes something of human nature, especially big eyes, is very shared
« Anything cute and evocative of human nature, especially big eyes, is shared a lot. », Confirmswildlife photographer Graeme Purdy, who recently won second place at the prestigious and which is followed by 60,600 people on .
With its shimmering colors and its crown crest, the splendid crested turaco is very popular with Internet users.
Admire my beautiful blue plumage
Among the other winners of this ranking are the colorful pigeons with decorative plumage or the emerald turaco which sports a shimmering blue dress and ain crown.
More generally, blue plumage appears to be the most attractive, unlike yellow or red. A phenomenon that can be found in several other studies on landscapes, furniture or clothing, and which could be explained by an innate preference, associated in particular with the fact that« is linked to pleasant things such as clear skies and clean water, while potentially harmful objects such as rotten food are often yellow », Indicate the authors.
Seabirds, vultures and storks, unloved by Instagram
At the other end of the, include the unloved sea birds (the oyster and the sandpiper), ” often caught eating worms and seashells “, as well as and the , the latter being however generally considered sympathetic. ” This ranking shows that the attractiveness score is not necessarily linked to the beauty of the bird represented but rather to its behavior and the situational context. », Attest the authors. In other words, an ugly owl making a face will have every chance against a resplendent.
Big cats and elephants are the most popular wild animals on Instagram
An observation that the wildlife photographer regrets: « On Instagram, people generally like grown-ups and elephants, but if I post what I think is a great mongoose pic it won’t have any success », He laments .
According to a site survey, a travel site offering safaris, the most popular animals on Instagram in number of hashtags are the dog, the cat, the horse and the hen (however with a bias because the photos also include the chicken recipes ). On the side of wild animals, we find the brown or white bear (thank you cuddly toys!), The (again with a bias because of the shoe brand), the , the , the monkey, the elephant, or the .