How To Make It On Instagram's "Popular" Page And Be The Ruler Of Everything

12 February 2016, 12:08 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 17:09


By Victoria Pavlova

Snatch that InstaCrown and hold the InstaThrone.

So ya wanna land the popular page, do ya? Don't we all. The Popular page, or Explore, as IG insists on calling it now, is where the app suggests popular recent photos that users might like. It's basically a featured list, it updates constantly and getting your photo in there can make your entire Insta career. 

It is a magical land of endless notes and glamour. It's like a mini-award, but relevant and also not racist. It's something you can tell your grandchildren about. 

And best of all, ANYONE CAN DO IT. Yes, even you. Here's how you reach that coveted InstaQueen status. 

1. Stop being so #random.

Everyone's popular page looks different, depending on their interests and who they follow. Now, IG's algorithms, much like their nudity guidelines, are a complete and total mystery, but we do know that the app rewards consistency in terms of tags and style, by boosting posts to people with the same interests. So pick one theme - fitness, beauty, books, music, whatevs - to let the app (and your followers) know what they can expect. 

2. Take. Good. Photos.

That kinda goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway. Unless it's something really hilarious or you're just a next level iPhone photographer, your photos will do much better, if they're taken on an actual camera and edited. It's just the way of the world. 

3. Get likes in the first half hour.

That gives you the best chance of landing on the Popular (soz, I meant Explore) page. BUT to get dem likes, you gotta have a considerable following first. So how do you do that? WELL.


Don't be this person tho.

They're annoying AF, but hashtags are how people find your s***. So use them. You might to better using ones specific to whatever you're posting, rather than generic tags, to avoid your beautiful shot getting buried under piles of, ya know, not so good ones. So something like #foodporn might be more helpful than just adding #food, for example. 

Pro tip: if you add your tags in the first comment, instead of the post, they'll disappear in the thread, but you'll still get those sweet, sweet likes.

5. Know your community. 


Check out this amazing artist for more lovely drawings @bluemerry04 @bluemerry04 @bluemerry04

A photo posted by | Maya (@mayamoamen99) onFeb 12, 2016 at 2:27am PST

Know their interests, their style, their tags. Respond to comments. Comment on other people's stuff. Also just be aware, shoutouts are a thing. If you don't abuse them, they'll totally help you grow. Just make sure you're not featuring too many accounts, cos that unfollow button is real easy to find if you annoy your followers. 

6. Be consistent with your posts.  

Your first Popular page hit is a rare gem, but you increase your chances by posting frequently, so people don't forget you exist. But not too frequently, so that they don't hate your existence. Sort of like life, really. 

7. Be a bit topical.


A photo posted by King Soff (@soffvassy) onFeb 12, 2016 at 2:10am PST

You don't have to do a play-by-play review of the Yeezy 3 livestream, but just like... try to stay relevant and not post the same photo of Overnight Oats over and over again. It wasn't even that cute the first time.

8. Be Zoella, idk.

Zoella Instagram

9. If all else fails, light something on fire and hope the InstaGods notice you.

You'll definitely stand out that way.