We like to brag about being one of the first magazines to join Instagram (it's one reason why we have an obscene amount of followers), but we also work extremely hard to ensure that our feed is constantly being updated with awesome photos taken by our web team throughout the day, many of which land us on Instagram's famous popular page. Even though it happens all of the time, we still get excited when one of our photos makes it to the popular page. Which brings up a good question: how do you make it to the popular page anyhow?
Instagram told us that their algorithm is a "magical secret recipe" that they keep under lock and key, but we've come up with some ways to help you cheat the system. First, patience is a virtue. Very few popular page photos are taken by bran new accounts. Second, the popular page takes into account how many non-followers like the photo, so anything you can to do gain more traction from those outside of your list is to post your photos on Facebook and Twitter. And use tons of popular hashtags. Which brings us to our third tip, make sure you're taking advantage of hashtags by using them properly. You can go hashtag crazy if you want, but the key is use already popular ones with high searchability. Next: it's all about speed. The faster you can attract attention to your photo the more likely you'll be to make the cut. Lastly, you can increase your popularity by achieving high rankings, which are based on your overall contribution to the Instagram community. The more active you are, the more "popular" you'll be. It's kind of like high school--the popular kids didn't cheer from the sidelines-- they joined the squad.
The most important thing is to do what any good photographer does: try to capture the moment. If you still feel incapable of taking a decent photo, seek tips from Instagram's "help hotline." #GoodLuck!