An App Named Lisa Wants to Choose Your Best Instagram Selfie

Lisa Best Instagram Selfie

You spend more time than you’d care to admit perfectly arranging patterned cloth napkins and vintage silverware around the most gorgeous heirloom tomato salad you’ve ever managed to create, filter out every last shadow, and then… the Insta likes are sad. Just sad.

Meanwhile, that impromptu selfie you posted without too much thought (thanks to a couple of glasses of rosé) is killing it.

What makes some photos succeed and others flop on Instagram, that fickle arbiter of social majesty? There are lots of theories and tips, but sometimes, it just feels like a big freakin’ mystery.

A new app, though, says it knows the secret… and will make it work for you. Lisa is an AI app that claims to use a “smart algorithm” to scan your photos and choose the most engaging one, so you can stop guessing. The creators call Lisa your “social media assistant” and say the app examines thousands of features from a single image before reporting back to you on its decisions.

Intrigued? I tried it out, and here are a few things you need to know before giving up precious storage space on your phone.

It’s Really Easy to Use

Lisa gets points for simplicity. The whole app is just a couple of screens, and using it requires zero effort. You log in with your Instagram info, let it access your camera roll, and then select two to three photos for it to analyze. After reporting that it’s “Analyzing photos. Discovering beauty points. Calculating engagements. Finding the best one,” it spits out its pick from the group, without any explanation as to why it chose the one it chose.

Lisa Instagram

It’s Currently Buggy

Okay, it’s brand new and is using a complicated algorithm, so I guess some kinks are to be expected, but I encountered a bunch of bugs while using it. First of all, anytime I clicked anything, it took a very, very long time to proceed to the next step. The “loading wheel” started to drive me insane, and at one point it froze altogether and I had to close and reopen the app. Other bugs: when it revealed the photo it had expertly chosen, it was… upside down! (And the two it didn’t choose had both been flipped on their side.) This didn’t really matter in terms of moving forward with using the photo, but it made me doubt the intelligence of the algorithm, if it doesn’t even know which way’s up.

It Also Suggests Hashtags

After it tells you which photo you should post, it also suggests hashtags that are, again, based on an algorithm that should help you gain likes and followers. This feature, like the main one, again worked with a few kinks. When I had it choose between selfie angles of my friend and I standing in front of a lake on a summer night, it helpfully suggested #outdoors, #summer, and #happiness. Also on the list, were the bizarre choices of #child (thanks? I look really young?) and #competition (for what?!).

Does It Work?!

So the biggest question…will it really help you bump up your likes by choosing the most Insta-worthy angles? It’s hard to truly test for that, because while you can post the photos it chooses and see how they fare, you’re not going to then post the ones it didn’t choose as a control. (That would obviously ruin your feed, and you don’t need an app to tell you that.)

I can attest to one major plus: it’ll save you the time of agonizing over whether the straight-on, looking-to-the-side, or from-the-back angle is best, and we all need more time… to keep on scrolling.

Do you think an app like this would be valuable, or just make Instagram more torturous? Let me know in the comments. 

Photo by Bree McCool

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