Social media

Why an Instagram account has more than 5 million followers for its travel photos

Creator of the ‘largest travel influencer on Instagram’ says they use specific visual elements proven to make photos appealing to viewers. Art or analytics: what do you think?

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 January, 2016, 8:01am
UPDATED : Monday, 25 January, 2016, 1:40pm

Dubbed “the largest travel influencer on Instagram” by its creator, Jeremy Jauncey, the Beautiful Destinations account boasts 5.2 million followers.

The account posts photos from a variety of sources, some taken by its in-house photographers, others by popular Instagram users they officially work with, and still others by Instagrammers that happen to post great travel photos and hashtag them #beautifuldestinations.

Founded by Jauncey in 2012, Beautiful Destinations has grown to become one of the most successful Instagram accounts of all.

Jauncey and his team have started helping other companies build out their social media presence, and have a client list thatincludes top media publications, hotels, airlines, and tourism boards. As well as Beautiful Destinations, they run accounts dedicated to photos of hotels, food and luxury hotels, food, and luxury products and experiences, with a total following of more than eight million.

Their secret, Jauncey says, is tapping into specifc visual elements that they know will make photos appealing to Instagram users.

Beautiful Destinations uses data-driven analysis — what colours, perspectives, and poses are the most appealing to Instagram users, for example — to determine which images will bring in the greatest audience. This image, taken in Amsterdam by one of the company’s weekly content creators, is one of Beautiful Destinations’ most popular, with 209,000 likes.

Another one of the account’s most popular photos is this one of a traveller and her pup, which was taken on Lake Louise, in Alberta, Canada. It got more than 192,000 likes.

The account has been growing at a rapid pace since it was founded, thanks in part to the images the Beautiful Destinations team chooses, like this one taken in Kromlau, Germany.