Analysis of influencer culture: AI reveals secret sauce to Insta success

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail has carried out the first AI analysis of Instagram to discover what really goes into making the world’s ultimate influencer. AI identified the 500 most Insta-famous people on the planet (those who rose to fame thanks to social media) and the locations, clothing, brands, pets, poses and objects they use in tens of thousands of their photos to generate love from their followers.

FASHION: The right fashion choices are imperative to achieving Insta-fame. For women, white T-Shirt dresses accessorised with hats and handbags are best for generating ‘Likes.’ Another crucial accessory for the Insta-famous is a camera and phone – both feature in the top five objects for males and females – proving that every aspiring influencer needs to be poised and ready to capture content at any time. The number one clothing brand that trumps all others is the Italian luxury fashion house, Moschino. The AI identified that Moschino is closely followed by Christian Dior and Gucci to round out the top most popular luxury fashion brands. Surprisingly, joining the high-end mix of fashion brands is Champion, the American sportswear brand.

Men looking to generate the most love on Instagram should wear a figure-hugging shirt (preferably revealing abs) and accessorise with sunglasses. Casual looks are also popular with male influencers. Iconic Adidas took the winning spot in terms of follower love. The science reveals that male influencers and their followers also favour Gucci, Supreme, Balenciaga and Nike – making up the top five most coveted brands.

TOP BRANDS: AI reveals that some mega brands hold more clout than others when it comes to Instagram fame. Spotify comes out on top as the most popular brand to featured in influencer posts, beating household names including Disney and MTV which came in second and third. Technology brands and products appear heavily in content from the Insta famous – Nikon and  Sony also make the top ten.

Top 10 brands featured by Instagram royalty:

  1. Spotify
  2. Disney
  3. MTV
  4. Nikon
  5. Amazon
  6. Sony
  7. Avengers
  8. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  9. Bose
  10. Samsung

Stuart McClure, co-founder of, said: “The great thing about AI is that it is impartial, it does not have favourites, it does not wear Prada. AI has been used for the first time to analyse more than a million data points across 50,000 shots of the most engaged influencers on the planet. We now know definitively that if you want to reach the heights of internet stardom you need a penchant for Moschino, Adidas and own a French bulldog. But seriously, science not only tells us the objects and situations that the Insta famous love to share, but also what brands and poses the public loves and loathes. This data gives us an insight into influencer culture and how not only individuals but brands can learn from the Insta crowd to emulate this success.”

LOCATION: The location influencers shoot their content plays a role in online recognition and those all-important ‘Likes’. For men, Las Vegas is the venue of choice. Featuring the famous city known for its gambling, entertainment, and nightlife is guaranteed to bring Insta stardom. Female influencers, on the other hand, have fared better when featuring family-friendly destination Disneyland on their Instagram grid.

POSE: The activities featured within a shot also have an impact on how well a post performs. AI identified the emerging pose of choice for generating Instagram attention in 2020 is the ‘bathie’ (featuring a female influencer lying seductively in a luxury bath) this pose generates twice as much engagement as the next most popular, the Barbie feet pose, which sees influencers posing on their tiptoes barefoot to create the illusion of longer legs. In contrast, males opt for more candid shots – leaning on vehicles and the bathroom mirror selfie being the poses of choice for 2020.

PETS: Addressing the debate; do we prefer cats or dogs? AI reveals that dogs come out on top as the best animal to generate follower ‘Likes’. Many smaller, longer hair breeds were popular with the Insta-famous, but it was the Frenchie that came in first place and is crowned as the most influential dog breed of 2020. Dogs were closely followed by cats, with birds coming in third. The AI also discovered that influencers have a penchant for rabbits – the Angora rabbit features in several of the most engaged posts on the platform. Whilst it appears the Insta famous crowd favour more traditional pets, dolphin selfies also buck the trend, with the marine mammals leaping into the top five most popular animals list.

CUISINE: Food and drink are also important considerations when striving to be an Insta star. AI identified the meal of choice for male influencers is fast food whereas women prefer sweeter treats such as birthday cake. Female influencers enjoy snapping themselves with a glass of vino, this beverage came in second place in terms of frequency of posting.  Male internet stars are more likely to shun booze in 2020. Soft drinks came out on top for male influencers compared to wine which only made eighth place in the cuisine rankings.

TALENT: Talent choice is another deciding factor when it comes to Instagram fame. Men wanting to become ultimate influencers should consider learning magic tricks as magicians are the most popular with Instagram audiences, with male beauty bloggers following quick on their heels. For women, being able to hold a note or play an instrument is key – musicians are the most admired by the Insta crowd, followed by comedians, entertainers and fashionistas.

COLOUR PALETTE: Your Instagram grid aesthetic is another key point that contributes to achieving Insta famous status. AI pinpointed that certain colour palettes used in the images of our favourite influencers are more likely to generate love from fans. Those that feature cool and monochromatic colour schemes in their posts are most likely to be ultimate influencers. Grey, white and then black are the best colours to incorporate into posts. has partnered with artist Scott Castle to create two characters, Isaac and India, who represent the ‘secret sauce’ of influencer success highlighting the brands, objects, poses, clothes, pets and locations that make someone Insta-famous.

Visit to see the full analysis and top lists and to shop the sales all in one place. Partnering with more than 1,000 of the world’s biggest brands and retailers, is the biggest discount fashion marketplace in the world.

52,000 images were sourced from most engaged Instagrammers’ images between October 2019 – March 2020.