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Instagram’s biggest stars are using this loophole to make their posts go viral

Are you an Instagram addict who craves a huge following but can’t seem to stretch the likes for a post beyond a few dozen? Well, the photo-sharing app’s biggest influencers (that’s online celebs to you and me) think they’ve cracked the code to amassing those hearts and getting images featured on the platform’s Explore page.

Here’s what you need to do: Geotag your posts with “Singapore, Singapore.” Now, you may be scratching your head thinking, “but, I’ve never even been to the country.” It doesn’t matter. If the likes of King Bach (11.3 million Instagram followers), Lele Pons (11.6 million followers), Dan Bilzerian (20 million followers), and Logan Paul (7.7 million followers) are doing it, then it must work, right? Well, Instagram’s verified users swear by it — according to Mic journalist Taylor Lorenz (who uncovered the trend) — but they’re not entirely sure how it works.

Some suspect it has to do with the possibility that Instagram may not have rolled out its algorithmic timeline update (which influencers initially opposed) in select Asian countries, including Singapore. By temporarily geotagging their posts there, they believe they can jump to the top of users’ feeds more easily. There’s just one tiny flaw with that argument: Instagram actually released its algorithm-based timeline in Singapore in April.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, people are just plain confounded by the trend.

“You keep Singapore up for 12 hours, then you change it,” an Instagram user with a sizable following told Lorenz. “It’s fully ridiculous and dumb, but it works. I’m not sure why or if it’s just because it’s become a meme, but the ‘Singapore, Singapore’ posts do way better. It 100 percent works.”

A quick search for posts tagged with “Singapore, Singapore” reveals the temporal aspect of the trend could indeed be true, with very few popular users appearing in the results with posts that were clearly not taken in the country. However, screenshots shared online reveal they have in fact used the tag. We reached out to Instagram for a comment, but the company did not immediately respond.

You can always try out the supposed loophole for yourself, at the expense of looking a bit foolish in front of your pals. But does that really matter when the ultimate goal is online popularity? After all, who needs friends when you’ve got followers.