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Science Has Finally Figured Out How to Make Your #Selfies Super Popular

With so many new #selfies posted worldwide on a minute-by-minute basis, how can you tell whether yours will have a lasting impact?

Kris Jenner selfie duckface


On this earth, we are but mortals, but on the Internet we could live foreevverr. Death is inevitable but irrelevance is an error, and to prevent it we need to get our #selfies liked, hearted, commented on, tapped. The worst that can happen to our sweet photographed faces is that they will fall into Internet oblivion, like dead soldiers. So many have perished for the greater good, but true #selfielebrity isn't won in a battle, it's earned in a lifetime of war.

And that's why we've committed our best and brightest to the task of understanding what it takes for a selfie to become successful — what we need to do to avoid the embarrassing fate that befalls so many of our predeccessors: no likes, no love, no hope.

brad pitt selfie cell phone fan


To this end, a team of MIT researchers has created an algorithim that claims to determine whether a photo is likely to become popular online, based on a combination of image and social cues.

For example, the researchers found that the following sets of objects will have a different impact on popularity as follows:

  • Strong positive impact: mini-skirt, maillot, bikini, cup, brassiere, perfume, revolver
  • Medium positive impact: cheetah, giant panda, basketball, llama, plow, ladybug
  • Low positive impact: wild boar, solar dish, horse cart, guacamole, catamaran
  • Negative impact: spatula, plunger, laptop, golf cart, space heater

Surprising that a "giant panda" has only medium positive impact on the success of an image, because my giant panda #selfies typically do extremely well, but you can't argue with science. The algorithm is available to try online, over at this website. Let the data guide you, strip down to your bra, step away from the spatula — and godspeed. [h/t Dazed]