Here is the recipe for the perfect Pinterest photo

pinterest recipeAccording to science, this is what the perfect Pinterest photo looks like:

paula deen pinterest photo

You’re looking at a Paula Deen salad recipe in a pink bowl, and according to a report in Wired, it’s the epitome of Pinterest perfection.

Curalate, a Pinterest analytics service, is the brains behind the operation. Curalate analyzed 500,000 images to identify key characteristics that would make up the “perfect” Pinterest photo – or at least a photo that would have a greater chance of being shared or repinned. 

Curalate works a bit different from social media analytic platforms out there. We recently covered the team’s roll out of their “Promote” Pinterest contest service, but what makes Curalate a unique product is how it uses an image recognition algorithm to figure out exactly what’s inside of a picture. The algorithm breaks any image down pixel-by-pixel.

So by analyzing hundreds of thousands of images, and collecting information on characteristics that make a photo popular, Curalate has a pretty good idea about what bodes well and what doesn’t – and the above image does.

What doesn’t work? Curalate says that if someone’s face is in a photo, there will be a slimmer chance that the image gets repinned than a photo of an object (without a human face). In fact, images of anything but a face get pinned 23 percent more often, Curalate CEO Apu Gupta says. And adding to things not to do, he recommends pinners to try to keep “artificial backgrounds” below a 40 percent threshold. With more than 40 percent of the plain “artificial” background – like the ones you’d find in a photo studio – Pinterest photos risk between 25 and 50 percent fewer repins. Try to keep all things artificial out of your photos; Gupta recommends using a background that fits – and more importantly, one that adds “context” to the photo. So a superimposed background of the galaxy against your recent crafts won’t do well – but a stark picnic table or workbench likely will. 

Make sure your Pinterest image uses more than one color. If the colors work well together and stand out, there’s a 300 percent chance of garnering more comments. In fact, Wired notes that reds and oranges are two times better than blue images. And on a final point about color, don’t overdo it with saturating a photo that you’re looking to publish to Pinterest.

Saturation is critical. 50 percent saturated photos are pinned four times more than 100 percent saturated photos, while black and white photos performed ten times worse than the 50 percent saturations. Apparently Pinteresters like their images naturally-hued.

Finally, image size and orientation also matter. Vertically-positioned photos outperform horizontal images, and aspect ratios between 2:3 and 4:5 perform the best.

Now that you have a recipe for the perfect Pinterest photo, it makes you wonder what the worst-possible Pinterest photo might look like. We think this might be it: 

justin bieber pinterestHuman face? Check. Black and white? Check. Superficial? Well, sort of.