And why do people like it so much?
This is the most liked photo I've ever posted on Instagram. 91. Not very many! But a lot for me. The thing is, I don't know why. It's not a very good photo — it's sort of off-kilter, slightly generic, whatever. The recent influx of the Android riff-raff only partly explains it, because it is by far my most liked photo, and there are other photos taken around the same time that don't have nearly as many likes.
So the question: What makes people "like" a photo on Instagram? The best way to figure it out, perhaps, is to look at the most liked photo on Instagram.
You would think it'd be easy to see the most liked photo ever on Instagram — a simple, raw statistic measuring pure id-driven popularity. It is not. Even browsing through the wealth of data collected by web-based Instagram services, like Webstagram, the most liked photo across the entire service is apparently a tricky thing to divine. There's no way to filter by likes, perhaps by design. Instagram's own popular page does "not simply count likes," and it's constantly churning through new pictures.
I emailed Joe Mio, the proprietor of Webstagram, to see if he had an idea of what the most liked photo ever on Instagram would be, given that he's got a huge database from the unending streams of data pouring in through the Instagram API. "At this time, using the API, it is just a little difficult I think," he says, because the "number of likes are always changing and difficult to check all pics."