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How to get on the popular page of Instagram

Fat Mum Slim /

If you’re on Instagram you’ll have noticed that they have a popular page. Well, it used to be called the popular page and now it’s called explore. It’s filled with photos that change often and are selected by the Instagram team. Actually, this is how they say they determine who gets to the popular page:

That doesn’t really make it any clearer, does it? In the past 6 months my photos have appeared on the popular {explore} page 246 times. So I have my own idea to how it all works.

Did you have a popular group at school? You know the cool kids that everyone wants to hang around? I think the popular page is just like that. Sometimes the cool kids didn’t want to have anything to do with other people, they snubbed their nose at other kids. But sometimes they acknowledged other kids, letting them come and sit with them at morning tea time. Just once.

Once you get to sit at morning tea with the cool kids, then sometimes you get to hang out at lunch and then after school as well. And then before you know it you’re being invited to birthday parties and you’re… IN!

OK, it’s not quite like that, but stay with me for a bit. I believe that once you get onto the popular page, you’re in. It’s much easier to get onto it again. And again. It’s still not easy, but it’s easier than starting afresh {getting on there for the first time ever}.

Here’s what I believe works:

♥ Take great photos. That’s always the best place to start.

♥ If you take a look at the popular page, you’ll notice a few different kinds of photos: food, celebs, pretty {or spunky} people, travel shots, fashion, cute kids, inspiring photos and animals {dogs and cats mainly}. So, try those genres if you want to get onto the popular page.

♥ The more likes your photo gets in that first half hour, the more chance you have of being noticed by the Instagram team. Your best chance of getting more likes is to get more followers. You can do this by doing things like my Photo A Day challenges, commenting on other people’s photos, following other people and getting involved in other hashtags. {I’ll share the current top hashtags in the coming weeks}.

How will you know you’ve made it onto the popular page? You’ll get a little notification in your feed that says you’ve made it to the popular page plus your photo will get more and more likes so you’ll probably wonder where they came from!

My best advice is to just have fun and enjoy Instagram for what it’s for – sharing photos. Getting on the popular page is cool, but it brings the spammers in droves. And you’ll never be able to use your news feed again {the feed only goes so far and if someone tags me now I never get to see it}. Getting on the popular page is exciting, but I what I really enjoy about Instagram is the visual sharing of photos, the challenges and being part of a pretty darn cool community.