The 25 Most Liked Instagram Posts (Plus Tips On How They Actually Did It)

Rafaella Aguiar

Rafaella Aguiar

Published: Mar 17, 2021

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Have you ever wondered how the most liked Instagram post achieved that lofty title? What about the second most liked picture on Instagram? Or the third most liked photo on Instagram? 

These top liked posts are racking up tens of millions of likes – that means that millions upon millions of users took the time to view these photos and had some motivation to drop a like. But what is that motivation? And how could an account possibly draw this much attention?

We’ve looked into the info on these posts, and, if you stick around, we’ll tell you what we’ve figured out about what these accounts have done – and what you can do – to garner high volumes of likes on Instagram photos.

Here’s what we found out about the top 20 most-liked Instagram posts of all time and the 5 posts with the most likes from 2020:

The 20 Most Liked Instagram Posts Of All Time

20. Getting Fit With Cristiano

Number 20 on the list of most-liked posts is this one from Cristiano Ronaldo, in which he shared a video of himself working out, followed by a photo that features his muscular physique. 

The photo was posted on Ronaldo’s personal account, where he regularly updates fans on his personal life and his soccer career. As one of the world’s most famous athletes, Ronaldo has amassed an Instagram following of 259 million, and this particular post racked up 14,183,339 likes in October 2020. 

Cristiano Ronaldo's most liked post on Instagram

19. Kobe Bryant’s Final Instagram Post

While it’s not the last post on his account, the last post published in Bryant’s lifetime has been shown a lot of attention since the basketball star’s tragic death in early 2020.  

Well-loved in his lifetime, Kobe Bryant’s page still has an impressive following of 20.8 million. His final post, featuring his good friend Lebron James, has reached 14,326,200 likes. Bryant posted this photo just one day before his death, and fans continue to leave comments from time to time. 

Kobe Bryant's most liked post

18. Kylie And Travis

Kylie Jenner is no stranger to the idea of having the most liked picture on Instagram – this shot of her and Travis Scott is only one of the star’s most popular photos. 

Kylie Jenner is widely recognized as one of the biggest social media sensations in the present moment, so don’t be surprised if (hint: when) you see her appear later on this list as well. 

Kylie’s account is chock-full of steamy photos of herself, sweet pictures of her daughter Stormi, promotional posts that feature products from her own line, and aesthetically pleasing photos that keep fans updated on her lavish lifestyle. 

It’s an account that many would consider “to die for,” which is why the entrepreneur and internet sensation has racked up a following of 213 million. And, this post alone received 14,251,174 likes when she posted it in the fall of 2020.

Kylie and Travis most liked post

17. Cristiano’s Birthday Celebration 

Cristiano Ronaldo is back on the list once again with his 2020 birthday celebration in a most liked post, featuring some special guests. 

Ronaldo flashes a celebratory smile and a double thumbs-up in the photo, in which three golden candles can also be seen shining over a cake in the shape of the soccer star’s initials. 

The post racked up even more likes than the one featuring his workout, coming in at a total of 14,285,521 likes.

Cristiano's birthday celebration post on Instagram

16. Selena And Friends

Selena Gomez makes her first appearance on the most liked Instagram post list, with a cute beach pic featuring her with two close friends – but, rest assured that this is not the last time you’ll see Selena on the list. 

Gomez has risen to the top of the entertainment industry, collecting a wide following base and, more specifically, 207.6 million Insta followers. So it’s no surprise that this sweet star has more than one most liked photo on Instagram. 

In this post from February 2019, Gomez shares that she’s celebrating the engagement of her best friend. It’s personal posts like these, along with gorgeous pictures of herself and promotional posts about her work, that keep her Instagram account as one of the most popular!

Selena Gomez' most liked Instagram post

15. Selena On A Trip

She’s back – Selena Gomez impressing us with back-to-back features on the list of most-liked Instagram posts. Although, we can’t say we’re surprised, with what a social media sensation Gomez has become.

In this post from summer 2019, Gomez shares a striking photo on the water at golden hour and, in the caption, lets us know that she’s in Italy. The post has totaled 14,419,472 likes.

Selena on a trip post

14. The Rock At His Wedding

In this post, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson shares a glimpse of his picturesque Hawaii wedding day with fans. The Rock’s page is very popular, totaling 215 million followers who are treated to a steady stream of posts about The Rock’s personal life, professional endeavors, and fitness journey.  

As many follow along for The Rock’s fitness-focused lifestyle, some of his most widely-enjoyed posts are those of his cheat meals. The incredible treats that The Rock enjoys are always astonishing to us common people (i.e., those of us who aren’t built like mountains).

This wedding post surpasses even the cheat meals, however, coming in at 14,470,552 likes. The Rock published this, one of the most-liked Instagram posts, on August 19, 2019 – one day after his wedding. 

The Rock's most liked Instagram post

13. Kylie And Stormi 

In this heartwarming video, Kylie Jenner is back on our list – this time with daughter Stormi. To make this post, Kylie joined the TikTok trend in which parents laid down in their toddler’s laps to see how the little ones would react.

Stormi’s sweet response to her mother’s action was totally adorable, and it garnered 14,521,494 likes, giving Kylie yet another most-liked Instagram post when she published it at the start of October 2020.

Kylie and Stormi's Instagram post

12. Stormi In A Solo Shot

Another celeb with back-to-back features on the list of most-liked pictures on Instagram: Kylie’s back again, but this time, she isn’t even featured in the photo herself. In March of 2020, Kylie posted an adorable solo shot of Stormi at bath time. 

In the caption to her photo, Kylie wrote, “this pic makes me happy” – apparently millions of fans agreed, as the post has 15,341,654 likes. That sweet face surrounded by bubbles won a huge audience over!

Stormi in a solo shot on Instagram

11. Lebron’s Tribute To Kobe

As a close friend of Kobe Bryant, Lebron James had a lot to say in this emotional post about Bryant’s death. The post is raw and emotional, giving the public a view of James’s mourning process. 

Lebron James is popular on Instagram, to begin with, at 78.6 million followers who follow along with his basketball-focused page. This post is his most popular, however, at 15,451,598 likes. 

Lebron's tribute to Kobe post

10. One Tree Planted For Every Like

This post is captioned as the world’s most sustainable post, as it was published with the caveat that a high volume of likes would equate to a high volume of trees planted.

After 5 million likes, the company Tentree planted 500 thousand trees. The post is now waiting to reach 20 million likes, at which point 1 million trees will be planted. Currently, the post has 15,505,902 likes.

Tentree is a company that sells sustainable products and plants ten trees with every purchase, so the brand’s Instagram account features its newest products. At 2.4 million followers, it’s a popular account, but it is best known for the campaign featured in the “most sustainable post.”

Tentree Insagram post

9. Ariana’s Engagement

In this romantic post, Ariana Grande shared the news of her engagement to Dalton Gomez, showing off her ring as well as some cute photos of the happy couple. 

Ariana’s Instagram follows a tight aesthetic, which, along with her popular songs and notable talent, is likely what drew all 219 million of her followers to her page. Here, Ariana posts about her personal life as well as her singing career, constantly keeping fans in the loop. 

Although Ariana has a wide collection of popular posts – and with good reason – her engagement announcement from the end of December 2020 is her most-liked photo on Instagram, at 15,646,081 likes in total. 

Ariana Grande's engagement post

8. Kylie’s Back – With Birthday Wishes

In yet another post from Kylie Jenner, the star is sending birthday wishes to Stormi’s father, Travis Scott. 

We established earlier just how much the Internet loves Stormi, so it makes sense that a post full of pictures of Stormi and her dad would be one of Kylie’s most-liked Instagram posts. In this heartfelt tribute to, as Kylie says, “daddy of the year,” Kylie sent a sweet message to Travis Scott in April of 2020. Fans seemed to love the cute post, as it currently has 15,987,333 likes.

Kylie's birthday post for Travis

7. Jennifer Aniston And Everyone’s Favorite Friend Group

Although Jennifer Aniston is new to Instagram, she’s already made it to the list of most-liked Instagram posts with this pic featuring some familiar friends

This was Aniston’s first Instagram post, which she published in October 2019, making waves as a late-comer to the app. Since this post, Aniston has kept up a fun account that features cute photos of herself, updates on her career, and issues about which the star feels passionately. 

Despite the fact that Aniston joined Instagram much later than many other celebs, she made record time in gaining followers, and she’s now at 36.1 million.

Friend's reunion post

6. Leo Messi’s Tribute To Maradona

In another farewell tribute post, Leo Messi honored football legend Diego Maradona after Maradona’s passing in November 2020.

Messi’s Instagram is wildly popular, with a total of 181 million followers, who he frequently updates with photos from his soccer career. 

It’s safe to say, however, that Messi’s most popular post to date is his farewell tribute to Maradona, which has a total of 16,405,805 likes. It’s clear to see that the soccer community was widely affected by Maradona’s death, and fans appreciated the show of emotion from another favorite player. 

Leo Messi's tribute to Maradona post

5. Welcome To The World, Stormi

Once again, we see Kylie Jenner with one of the most-liked pictures on Instagram; one again, featuring baby Stormi

Kylie’s first post of Stormi quickly became the most-liked photo on Instagram, and it remained in this spot for an impressive 341 days. And, it’s not hard to see why – just look at how adorable this photo is, in which Stormi holds tightly to her mom’s finger.  

The photo currently has 18,544,576 likes, and it was posted in February 2018.

Kylie's first post of Stormi

4. Chadwick Boseman’s Death Announcement

Chadwick Boseman’s family used the actor’s Instagram account to announce his death in August 2020, after Boseman passed away from cancer. 

The news of Boseman’s death shocked the world, and the post gained a lot of attention, totaling 19,149,293 likes.

Boseman’s account had been used to update his 11.1 million followers on his very successful acting career, but his most-liked Instagram post – and his final post – is his family’s heartbroken announcement of his death.

Chadwick Boseman's death announcement post

3. Another Farewell To Maradona

Cristiano Ronaldo is back on the list of most-like pictures on Instagram with his own tribute to Diego Maradona. After Maradona passed in November 2020, the outpouring of love for him proved his impact on the soccer world. 

Ronaldo’s post that bid farewell to Maradona currently has 19,814,657 likes. 

Cristiano Ronaldo's farewell to Maradona post

2. XXXTentacion’s Final Post

The second most-liked Instagram post is from rapper XXXTentacion, just shortly before he passed away in June 2018. 

The world was shocked at the death of the famous rapper, and fans were heartbroken at the loss. This drew mourners to the rapper’s Instagram page, making his final post, published in May 2018, his most-liked. The post currently has 23,377,267 likes.

This final post is also the only one still present on XXXTentacion’s page, and 18.6 million Instagram users follow the account today.

XXXTentacion's most liked Instagram post

1. The Infamous Egg

Believe it or not, the most-liked Instagram post of all time is a simple photo of an egg. Yes, you heard us right. There’s nothing fancy about it; it’s just an egg.

The photo was posted in January 2019, and at the time, the most-liked photo on Instagram was posted by Kylie Jenner. So the creators of this account, world_record_egg, took it upon themselves to usurp the beauty guru and challenged Instagram to like the photo enough times to beat out Kylie Jenner for the world record.

Instagram responded in a big way. The photo of the egg has 54, 867,223 likes, and the account owners ran with this momentum. Following the fame of the first post on the account, the account has posted a stream of graphics and comics featuring this popular egg. Currently, 5.5 million users follow the account. 

the most liked Instagram post of all time

The 5 Most Liked Instagram Posts Of 2020

5. Lebron’s Tribute

This post, of course, made the list of all-time most liked posts, but it deserves to be featured twice for the attention it gained just since 2020. 

If you recall, Lebron James’s farewell tribute to Kobe Bryant gained 15,451,606 likes since being posted in January 2020.

Lebron's tribute post

4. Travis’s Birthday

Is anyone surprised to see Kylie on the list once again? We know we already showed you her sweet birthday wishes to Travis Scott, but can anyone really complain about seeing this adorable post twice?!

Kylie published the post in late April 2020, on Travis’s birthday, and it currently has 15,987,738 likes.

Travis's birthday post on Instagram

3. Leo Messi And Diego Maradona

Another repeat, but one that is worth seeing again. The outpouring of support for Diego Maradona after his death can easily be observed through Leo Messi’s farewell post in Maradona’s honor. 

The post was published later in 2020, at the end of November, but it already has 16,405,843 likes.

Leo Messi and Diego Maradona post

2. Chadwick Boseman’s Death Announcement

When Chadwick Boseman’s family announced his death, the news garnered much attention from the public, inciting heartbreak and shockwaves through the world. 

This outpouring of love and support for Boseman and his family can be observed through the 19,149,347 likes that the photo has acquired since it was published in August of 2020.

Chadwick Boseman's death announcement Instagram post

1. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Farewell To Diego Maradona

If we haven’t made it totally clear by now, Cristiano Ronaldo has an incredibly popular presence on Instagram, so it’s no surprise that his tribute to Diego Maradona is the most-liked Instagram post from 2020. 

Maradona’s passing was impactful on the entire soccer community, so fans felt especially connected to this post from Ronaldo, which, since November 2020, has gained 19,814,686 likes.  

Cristiano's tribute to Maradona Instagram post

How To Get More Likes On Instagram

After all this talk of the most-liked pictures on Instagram, maybe you’re starting to dream of having the most-liked Instagram post for yourself. 

But, how do you get to that point? Here are a few tips we have for getting more Instagram likes – maybe they can help you reach that most-liked post status. 

Post Consistently

If you’re looking to grow your account and get more likes on Instagram, it’s important to be publishing content consistently. Your followers will be more inclined to interact with your posts if you are publishing them regularly and providing a dependable posting schedule. 

To ensure a consistent stream of posts, it’s very helpful to schedule your posts ahead of time. There is a wide variety available of scheduling apps and websites, so it’s actually pretty easy to make sure your posts are published regularly. 

When using a scheduling app, it’s a good idea to work ahead and schedule posts in batches – perhaps a month at a time. This is helpful because it will give you more free time while also ensuring that your content is dependable.

hootsuite dashboard

Maintain A Consistent Theme

Having a theme is very important in running an Instagram that users will want to follow and interact with. The more organized your theme is, the tighter your account’s aesthetic will be. And the more aesthetically pleasing your account is, the more people will be drawn to it and want to interact with it. 

Additionally, having a consistent theme will clue your followers in to what you will be posting and when, so they will know what to look for – they will be expecting your posts, which means that users will be inclined to view your posts and leave you a like. 

Create Content That Stands Out

If you want to attract likes with your content, you need to be posting content that is unique and original – something that will stand out to users, pique their curiosity, and draw them to your page. 

In order to create eye-catching content, try using tools such as Photoshop, Canva or Lightroom. These editing tools, among others, will allow you to enhance your photos and design your posts in such a way that will draw attention to your page. 

photo editing tool

You should also provide variety in the content you post. A good way to do this is by posting gifs and video content. Photos are definitely the most popular medium for posting on Instagram, and it’s great to mainly post pictures.

However, spicing up your feed a bit every now and then with a video or moving graphic will make your account look more dynamic and attractive to users. Users will also be inclined to drop a like when they see a video pop up in their feed every now and then, among the sea of photos.

Create Content That Engages

Think back to our list of the most-liked Instagram posts for a second. What was the number one most-like photo on Instagram, of all time? It was a picture of an egg!

It’s not because it was a beautiful or well-edited photo; it’s because people thought it was funny, and they wanted to be a part of something. It engaged a huge audience, and people wanted to be a part of the most-liked picture on Instagram. 

This may seem funny at first, but it’s actually an important lesson to keep in the back of your mind when you are creating content. Users want to support content from real people, not just celebrities. 

They want to connect with the content they see online, and there is nothing to say that you can’t be creating the content they connect with. So, publish something that your followers and other users can be a part of. Bring them in and make them a part of your community – get your name out there!

It’s Your Turn

So, there you have it. We talked about the 25 most-like Instagram posts, and we clued you in on how you can join that list. 

There’s nothing stopping you! Try out the tips we listed above, and maybe soon you’ll be the proud owner of the account with the most-liked picture on Instagram.

When you become famous for your popular Insta content, we want to know all about it – so feel free to come back here to the comments and let us know if our tips helped or if you have any questions for us!

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