MIT develops #selfie hacks: How to make your pic more popular

Ellen DeGeneres selfie Oscars
You could use MIT’s new algorithm to make your pic more popular — or you could just be super famous.

New research fails to find the reason why people are taking them but it has discovered how to compose a shot to make it as popular as possible.

Aditya Khosla, a PhD student at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), has developed an algorithm — based on information gathered from over 2 million images posted to Flickr — that can accurately predict how popular an image is going to be. As part of the research, undertaken with eBay Research Labs’ Atish Das Sarma and Raffay Hamid from DigitalGlobe, Khosla has even set up a website where anyone can upload an image and the algorithm will predict its potential popularity.

And according to the researchers, if you want to get as many people as possible to view your selfie it needs to feature three things: color, sexiness and tags.

The brighter the colors, ideally yellows and pinks, the more popular the picture is going to be with viewers. Therefore avoid blue and green tones in the foreground.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the same goes for sex. The algorithm used is able to analyze images on content as well as context and found that shots featuring underwear, miniskirts and bikinis had the most “positive impact.”

And last and most obviously, when posting to social media sites, the more tags accompanying the image, the better chance it has of being discovered and viewed.

Khosla’s research follows that of Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs researchers. Previewed at the beginning of April and officially presented this weekend, the team, led by Georgia Tech College of Computing Ph.D. student Saeideh Bakhshi, used facial recognition software to analyze 1.1 million images posted to Instagram to try and understand which types of image generated the biggest positive response.

And the answer is any image containing a human face is 38 percent more likely than any other visual subject matter to be liked and 32 percent more likely to attract comments.

The study also found that it doesn’t matter how many faces are in the shot, who the face belongs to or whether the subject or subjects are male or female.

As for Khosla, his next step is to develop a tool that will be able to automatically modify a photo in order to boost its popularity, an area in which he and CSAIL already have expertise.

In 2013 Khosla and three fellow students at the university’s lab developed a tool that automatically modifies headshot photos to make them more memorable.

Test your selfie here: www.popularity.csail.mit.edu



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.