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From selfies to food photography, Instagram has won the hearts of image-sharing teenagers and adults alike. Interactions—“likes” and comments—have become status symbols for individuals and companies to promote themselves and their products. But what is the most effective strategy to gain popularity?

In this lesson, students use linear regression models and correlation coefficients to evaluate whether having more followers, posts, and hashtags actually make pictures more popular on Instagram.

Students will

  • Interpret linear regression models to determine how having additional followers affects the number of interactions
  • Compare correlation coefficients to evaluate different strategies for obtaining new interactions
  • Given analysis data of brands that use Instagram, decide the ideal amount of daily posts to maximize interactions with images
  • Discuss the value of interactions and the potential consequences of branding on Instagram

Before you begin

Students should be able to interpret the slope and y-intercept of an equation for a line of best fit in context, as well as analyze the strength of correlation coefficients.

Common Core Standards

Content Standards
Mathematical Practices


Union Metrics, Jon Bershad