Instagram’s place as one of the world’s most popular platforms has been cemented for quite some time, and it has already taken hold of people’s undivided attention.
In this article, I’ll be looking at Instagram from a historical perspective – its most popular posts across time as of January 2023.
We’ll only be looking at the number of likes because no data use another criterion. Plus, the like meter is something anyone can understand.
In any case, I’ll be making this into a list and including pictures from Instagram, so keep reading to see what Instagram’s stardom is all about!
1. Lionel Messi and the Argentinian Team After Winning the FIFA World Cup 2022 Trophy
As of January 2023, this photo garnered around 75.6 million likes, and it depicts Lionel Messi holding the FIFA World Cup 2022 Trophy after the Argentinian team won the championship.
You can find the original post, which is a Carrousel Post, here. The post isn’t only about Messi, though. It also depicts some of the other members of the Argentinian team.
Messi is by far one of the top athletes in the world, having proven time and time again his skill, determination, and talent on the field. It’s no wonder that football fans around the world showed so much love to these pictures.
2. Photo of an Egg
You may or may not know about this running gag, but this is the second most-liked photo on Instagram – the image of an egg.
It has around 59.4 million likes, and the account only has this one post. Even the description of the post reads “Let’s set a world record together and get the most liked post on Instagram“.
If the photo above looks like it depicts a regular egg, that’s because it is. It’s a plain, regular egg that almost 60 million people have liked in 4 years.
3. Lionel Messi Lying in Bed with the FIFA World Cup 2022 Trophy
This next one shows the Argentinian football player lying in bed hugging the FIFA World Cup 2022 Trophy. The post gathered around 45 million likes in under 15 hours, and it sat at 54.6 million likes in January 2023.
If you think this is the last photo of Messi you’ll be seeing on this list, you couldn’t be more wrong. It seems football is one of Instagram’s favorite topics.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi Posting for Louis Vuitton Playing Chess
You may recognize this one because everyone’s been talking about it at some point. As of January 2023, the photo had 42.8 million likes, and it shows Messi and Ronaldo playing chess together.
This was a professional photo shoot arranged by the French luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton. What’s more, the post got most of its likes in under 24 hours, so people were clearly watching Ronaldo and Messi’s accounts insistently.
5. Lionel Messi Holding the 2022 FIFA World Cup
Messi yet again with a photo worth 42 million likes showing him holding the 2022 FIFA World Cup in the team’s bus. Back in January 2023, this was his fifth most-liked photo on Instagram.
It seems he’s quite content with breaking all the records and garnering all the glory, even on social media. This may not be the last time we’re seeing of him.
6. Cristiano Ronaldo During the FIFA World Cup 2022
This photo had 34.2 million likes back in January 2023, and it showed Cristiano Ronaldo on the field, during his last FIFA World Cup.
Unfortunately, his team got ousted from making it to the finals, which prompted the world’s football fans to gather on social media in support.
Not even Ronaldo is as popular as Messi, it seems. The Argentinian star keeps popping up no matter where you look, and for good reasons, it seems. But Ronaldo will forever remain one of football’s greatest icons.
7. Cristiano Ronaldo and His Wife’s Pregnancy Announcement
Sitting at 32.7 million likes on Instagram, this photo of Cristiano Ronaldo and his wife showing off an ultrasound image of her pregnancy. The couple was expecting twins back in 2021 when this photo was taken.
This was a celebratory moment for them, and it’s wholesome to see that moments such as these are among the most popular posts on Instagram.
8. Rapper XXXTentacion’s Final Post
This one is tragic, but it still garnered 30.9 million likes as of January 2023. The reason this is tragic is that the rapper was assassinated in 2018 during a robbery outside RIVA Motorsports.
The rapper was sitting in his i8 BMW when he was gunned down by three men, which were then put on trial for murder.
Many of the rapper’s fans described him as being a very versatile and profound rapper, able to incorporate many styles into his songs and express emotion better than most.
9. Lionel Messi’s Win Against Croatia During the FIFA World Cup 2022 Semi-Finals
If you’ve forgotten that Messi exists, this photo will remind you of him again. Sporting 29.7 million likes as of January 2023, it shows the Argentinian star celebrating his team’s win over Croatia.
This took place during the FIFA World Cup 2022 Semi-Finals, and it was a hard-fought match between the two teams.
Of course, no one can match La Pulga (The Flea) on the football field, so they ended up winning the Semi-Finals and the Finals.
10. Cristiano Ronaldo Reception by the Al-Nassr Fans
This photo shows Cristiano Ronaldo’s comeback as a player for the Al-Nassr team. His reception was something the star was quite taken aback by and thanked all his fans on social media.
The post gathered around 28 million likes back in January 2023, and it probably continued gathering likes even as we speak.
Why Can’t You See Likes on Instagram Posts Anymore?
You noticed that, did you? The truth is that I would have liked to provide real-time stats for all of the posts above, but Instagram announced at the beginning of 2023 that they’ll be hiding the like counter.
This was done in an attempt to shift the content creators’ focus to content quality rather than the likes they receive.
As a result, no one can see post likes anymore, including yours truly. So, I had to rely on research using older sources.
You should fully expect all of these posts to have more likes when you’re reading this article.