Lately I've noticed my more heavily edited pics are getting more likes. To assume that more apps/edits equate to more attention is short-sighted. Format is no substitute for content, and likes aren't the best engagement metric.** But with that said, here are the apps I've used to create my five most-liked photos on Instagram.
1) Camera+ | Every single picture above was run through Camera+. I use it on nearly every picture I take and Creamy Whip? Zip Dip! relies soley on Camera+. The HDR filter helps light, the sun rising and setting in particular, to really pop.
2) Slow Shutter Cam | Slow shutter and stop action apps are amazing niche apps. Initially, I took more with my stop action app, MogoFoto. But spend an evening at a festival or an amusement park and you'll see why Slow Shutter Cam turned Tilt-a-Hurl into my most liked picture.
3) Marble Cam | "Sharks with frickin' laser beams..." was taken with MarbleCam, an intersting novelty app that focuses on the center of your image in a whole new way.
4) Picfx | Picfx has a lot of fans. One reason is because it can distress photos, creating a whole new look. One Way is a great example of this.
5) Rays | Pictures with light sources in them are perfect for the Rays app, which will enhance them. It turned Cloud Porn with Inception Vibe into one of my favorites and one of my most-liked photos.
Bonus Tool | Statigram: Statigram makes Instagram pics easier to access, including your own photos. It serves up stats like the image above, and gives you access to several contests and other tools. This article on its various features is worth checking out if you're looking for an easier way to navigate Instagram.
Again, these results are based on content as much as format. So your experience with the above apps may vary. Now that Facebook's purchase of Instagram is final, I'm hoping posts like this one don't become humorous artifacts from " a time before Instagram was folded in to Facebook."
**Defining engagement is a lot like defining influence. The definition varies from person to person. And while I can see how likes are considered engagement, likes are passive enough that I don't think it's the strongest, standalone example of engagement. And unless you're goal is to raise awareness, likes are more of a progress metric compared to a data point measuring overall success.