Most Important And Popular Instagram Trends to Watch Right Now

Most Important And Popular Instagram Trends to Watch Right Now

9 of the Most Important Instagram Trends to Watch For

Like most social media trends, Instagram trends move quickly. And in 2020, change has been fast and furious, with a global pandemic, social uprising, and competitors, shaking things up.

Trends make the difference between looking out of touch or ahead of the curve. That doesn’t mean you should throw your social media content calendar out the window. It means you should stay informed and stay flexible.

There’s a lot to stay on top of at Instagram. From Instagram Story trends to Live Shopping, and Instagram Shops, we break down the biggest trends on the app.

9 of the most important Instagram trends in 2020

These are the top trends on Instagram to watch right now.

1. Brands and influencers reckon with racial inequality

On June 2, Instagram feeds were checkered with black squares in support of Blackout Tuesday. The original concept, The Show Must Be Paused, was created by music executives Brianna Agyemang and Jamila Thomas, as a day for the industry to “take a beat for an honest, reflective, and productive conversation about what actions we need to collectively take to support the Black community.”

But the black squares swiftly became symbols of performative allyship. The posts inadvertently drowned out the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, a channel activists use to relay vital information. Many brands and influencers who participated were called out for virtue marketing or hypocrisy, spurring calls for transparency and action.

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You asked how you can help. This is your opportunity to collectively put $14.5b back into black communities. . . . #shareblackstories #15percentpledge #shopblack #blacklivesmatter

A post shared by 15 Percent Pledge (@15percentpledge) on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:52am PDT

Designer Aurora James’s #15PercentPledge initiative calls on big retailers to pledge %15 of shelf space to Black-owned businesses. Brands including Sephora, Rent the Runway, Cupcakes and Cashmere have since made the pledge. UOMA Beauty founder Sharon Chuter launched #PullUpOrShutUp to challenge brands to back their marketing with employee diversity statistics.

Instagram plans to reexamine how its policies, tools, and processes impact Black and other underrepresented communities on Instagram. The company will focus on addressing harassment, account verification, content distribution, and algorithmic bias.


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We stand in solidarity with the Black community. But that’s not enough. Words are not enough. That’s why we’re committed to looking at the ways our policies, tools, and processes impact Black people and other underrepresented groups on Instagram. Addressing the feedback we get has always been an integral part of how we work, and has helped us build a better Instagram for everyone. We’re going to focus on four areas: * Harassment * Account verification * Content distribution * Algorithmic bias It’s not enough to simply celebrate or amplify Black voices on Instagram. We need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to protect them as well, and doing so requires we address the specific ways they’re impacted. Our focus will start with Black community, but we’re also going to look at how we can better serve other underrepresented groups. Instagram should be a place where everyone feels safe, supported, and free to express themselves, and I’m hoping this will get us closer to that. Link in bio for more.

A post shared by Adam Mosseri ???? (@mosseri) on Jun 15, 2020 at 11:12am PDT

Black creators and professionals have also been speaking out about tokenization, pay disparities, and being sidelined. Several celebs, public figures, and influencers have responded to this disparity by sharing Black influencers and businesses or hosting account takeovers. As a result, many Black creators have seen their followings double overnight.

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The truth. It’s uncomfortable. But it’s my reality. As the conversation of racial injustice continues and more and more of my friends and fellow influencers are asking deep questions and being educated, I thought I’d create something that has been weighing heavily on my mind. This influencer space is what I am surrounded by every day, and the past week has just amplified the need to do so. much. more. Brands and fellow influencers: we have SO much work to do. Now more than ever is the time to shout about change in this industry. Besides the 30+ years of my own racism I’ve experienced in my life, the words you see above are things I’ve felt and heard ever since I started my blogging journey. Why is this still happening? I ask myself time and time again. So, the only thing I can do is spread awareness right now. I want us all to move the needle and progress forward.

A post shared by Cristal Aisha (@cristalaisha) on Jun 1, 2020 at 6:58am PDT

The social momentum behind Black Lives Matter is stronger than ever. But as initiatives like #PullUpOrShutUp demonstrate, brands need to know the difference between social trends and social movements. As eTalk CTV reporter Tyrone Rex Edwards said, “My trauma is not a trend.”

Anti-racism, inclusive marketing, equal pay and opportunity are not trends. They’re the new norm and the bare minimum of what consumers expect from brands going forward.

2. Instagram goes Live

Stay-at-home orders and event cancellations have helped propel Instagram Live viewership figures to new heights. Between February and March, the number of people tuning in for live broadcasts rose by 70%. More than 800 million people now watch live video daily across Instagram and Facebook.

Live lineups have been packed with star power. DJ D-Nice’s #ClubQuarantine sets have featured shoutouts to Rihanna, Zuckerberg, and Joe Biden as the viewership count soared above 100,000. Former U.S. President Barack Obama and Justin Bieber were among the 50,000 viewers punctuating a live convo between NBA star Stephen Curry and Dr. Anthony Fauci with emoji.

As people look for ways to replace in-person activities, brands and creators have jumped on live, too. In fact, 80% of live broadcasters have fewer than 1,000 followers.

Instagram Live sessions include everything from cocktail and comedy hours to virtual protests, yoga classes, and drawing tutorials. Desktop functionality, added in April, has made tuning in a lot more practical.

Like Instagram Stories, live videos tend to be more intimate and spontaneous than posts in the feed. Hosts can also respond to questions and comments in real-time, which is why Live videos tend to average six times more interactions on Facebook.

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Aarmy (@aarmy) is putting a new spin on cycle classes during the COVID-19 pandemic. ???????????? Keeping up the same positive vibes and energy from their regular classes, the fitness studio is using Live to support all social distance warriors at home with bootcamps, cycling and challenges. “I feel like we're building a global Aarmy,” says Akin Akman, Aarmy's co-founder. “Everyone is getting together to beat it. This is such a great way to stay connected and spread the positive mentality.” See how their business is moving with this clip from one of their classes. Live by @aarmy

A post shared by Instagram for Business (@instagramforbusiness) on Mar 31, 2020 at 10:52am PDT

It’s too soon to know what staying power Instagram Live may have in a post-COVID world. For now, Instagram is rolling out enhancements, such as the option to save videos to IGTV and run fundraisers. Live Shopping and Badges allow creators to monetize livestreams.

Instagram is also testing showing two-rows of Stories in the feed, with live videos up top.

Until in-person activities resume, expect to see more memes and innovation on the Instagram Live front.

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me joining and immediately exiting your instagram live

A post shared by Seinfeld2000 (@seinfeld2000) on Apr 3, 2020 at 7:36pm PDT

4. Creators can now make money directly on Instagram

Since its inception in 2010, Instagram creators have mostly monetized their audiences through affiliate marketing and brand partnerships. New features introduced in May now allow creators to make money directly.

Instagram is now testing Badges with a small group of creators and businesses. During a live broadcast, viewers can spend 99 cents to $4.99 for heart badges to stand out in the comment stream and unlock features. During the test phase, creators will receive 100% of revenue earned from these badges.


Source: Instagram

Tests for IGTV ads are underway as well. These ads can last up to 15 seconds and appear after someone clicks to watch the full IGTV video. On par with YouTube, 55% of ad revenue is shared with the creator. In addition to ads, Live Shopping tools now let creators and brands tag products during live videos.

Influencer doing an Instagram live skincare tutorial

Source: Instagram

These changes come as competition to retain creators heats up between platforms. They also cater to a cohort of “specialized” creators who monetize their audiences by offering valuable content, rather than featuring valuable products and experiences in their content. It’s why many are shying away from the label influencer in favor of the term creator, or even ambassador.

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Here at Instagram, we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to support creators like you and help you turn your passion into a living. ???? Here’s three new updates to ensure we support the branded content ecosystem:⁣ ⁣ We’re now testing Instagram integration into the @Facebook Brand Collabs Manager, a one-stop-shop for creators to find brand partnerships and share their ????Instagram insights. ⁣ ⁣ And, because we know ❤️ counts are important for creators, we’re working to give you the option to share those with business partners. We're continuing to test private like counts in Feed for all users to ensure this change can benefit the community at large and we're excited to share more soon.⁣ ⁣ Finally, in order to keep our community safe, we’ll be updating our branded content policies in the coming year. This includes restrictions around what kind of products you can be paid to promote in branded content (things like vaping, alcohol, tobacco, weapons, weight loss supplements, etc.) ⁣ ⁣ Tap the link in bio to learn more. ????⁣

A post shared by Instagram’s @Creators (@creators) on Dec 18, 2019 at 11:32am PST

Brand partnerships will still remain an important source of revenue, but they’ve already become a lot less transactional. Expect to see some fine-tuning in the Brand Collabs Manager from Instagram (and Facebook).

5. Instagram Shops set brands up to cash in on conversions

Instagram Shops promise to make it easier for brands to make money, too. Shops let businesses create a storefront directly in the app, so people can buy without the need to visit a website. By eliminating this friction, brands should be able to drive significantly higher conversions and sales.

In May, Instagram and Facebook launched a phased rollout to businesses globally. The plan is for the shopping experience to eventually be integrated across all of Facebook’s apps. Once complete, it will mean that when someone puts something in their cart on Facebook, they can check out later on Instagram using stored credit card info or Facebook Pay (which will likely be integrated, too).

Instagram shopping in Explore tab

Source: Facebook

To improve discoverability, Instagram will soon have a dedicated Shopping tab, like the Explore tab, which already features a shopping section. Accounts with shops have a View Shop button on their profiles, as well as a shop tab. Businesses can customize how collections appear, connect loyalty programs, and benefit from the platform’s built-in AI to create personalized experiences.

There are now more ways to spend money in Stories, too. In addition to product tags, companies can share gift card, food order and donation Stickers.

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Check out how restaurants like Square Pie Guys, Spruce and Troya are serving up the Food Orders sticker in Stories. Pair the sticker with craveable photos at home or post right as people are getting off work. Make it easy for people to tap in an order and stay safe.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Stories by @squarepieguys @sprucerestaurantsf @troyasanfrancisco

A post shared by Instagram for Business (@instagramforbusiness) on May 5, 2020 at 3:59pm PDT

Set up Instagram Shopping so you can sell your products.

6. Shopping and advertising get AI-powered upgrades

More people shopping across Instagram and Facebook means more data. And more data brings the company closer to its vision of “making anything shoppable while personalizing to individual taste.”

To make anything shoppable, the Facebook engineers have developed an A.I called GrokNet that can automatically tag the products in a business’s catalog in seconds. The A.I., which is already used on Facebook Marketplace, can scan photos, identify attributes such as colour and style, cross-reference with catalogs, and suggest descriptions. On the flip side, this data is used to deliver better search results and targeted ads to users.

Rotating View is another A.I. project that aims to enhance social shopping. The feature, which allows people to create 3D-like images, is currently being tested on Marketplace. Maybe it will crop up on Instagram, too.

Instagram may soon introduce ads that use augmented reality to let people “try on” beauty products or preview furniture in their homes. Facebook already offers an AR ad format, and Zuckerberg recently announced more developments are on the horizon.

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Read our complete guide on how to advertise on Instagram.

7. Instagram Guides accompany the rise of “info-social”

Brands and influencers often get asked for recommendations, from “where should we eat in Marrakech?” to “how do you talk to your kids about climate change?”. In the past, these requests have been handled by referring followers to highlights or blog posts. Now guides can be created directly on Instagram.

several different Instagram guides

Source: Instagram

According to Instagram head Adam Mosseri, guides were initially developed for travel, but that idea was curtailed by the coronavirus outbreak. Instead, they launched under the theme of wellbeing, with more themes coming up. Instagram recently assembled a racial justice resource guide, too.

Guides have their own devoted tab on profiles, and can be shared to Stories or appear in the Explore tab. They can include curated posts and videos with added notes and tips.

There’s a growing appetite for informative social content. On TikTok, educational videos are surging in popularity, especially in China, with a reported 14 million “knowledge-based” posts created last year. In the United States, career coaches, personal finance experts, and fitness experts are finding success on the app.

On Instagram, everything from “practice accounts” to doctor and nurse micro- and nano-influencers are popular, proving that engaged communities are much more valuable than high follower counts.

8. Values take center stage

Authenticity is a big buzzword in the influencer industry. But it’s not just an influencer trend. Consumers increasingly demand authenticity from brands, too, especially in the form of transparency.

As brands and influencers use their platforms to take a stand, promote values, and support causes, transparency will be more necessary to retain authenticity. For example, sustainable beauty brand Elate Cosmetics goes into great detail to explain the eco-attributes of its products and practices.

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When's the last time you washed your makeup brushes? ????⁠ ⁠ Let's “brush up” on proper caring for your Elate Makeup Brushes!⁠ ⁠ Elate brushes are made with Taklon, a non-porous, naturally anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic material. WOW.???? These should be washed weekly-biweekly depending on usage, with a gentle soap like diluted Castile Soap.⁠ ⁠ The ferrule (the metal part) is made of high-grade aluminum – an infinitely recycable resource – and the handle is made of sustainable bamboo. Always lay your brushes flat to dry, and allow them to hang off the edge of the counter or sink so they dry thoroughly.⁠ ⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ ⁠ #ElateCosmetics #ownyourbeauty #loveelate #crueltyfree #greenbeauty #capsulebeauty #crueltyfreebeauty #crueltyfreeliving #crueltyfreebrush#crueltyfreelife #veganmakeupshare #veganbeauty #veganshare #veganbeautyaddict #veganbeautyproducts #noanimaltesting #veganfriendly #indiebeauty #ecobeauty #veganbrushes #cleanbeauty #cleanbeautyroutine #sustainablebeauty⁣⁠#veganmakeupbrush #makeupbrushes #washyourbrushes #crueltyfreemakeupbrushes #sundaybrushup! ⁠#CrueltyFreeMakeup⁠ ⁠

A post shared by Elate Cosmetics (@elatecosmetics) on May 24, 2020 at 7:01am PDT

Influencers will share more about their decision making in general, and be more upfront about why they partner with specific brands. To maintain trust, disclaimers and clear labelling between spon-con and regular posts will be necessary, particularly in Stories.

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What is sustainable style? I’ve been asking myself this a lot over the past week. Especially after @reformation , a leader in sustainable fashion, was called out for their racist corporate culture. As I move forward with sharing style and beauty content, I’ll be exploring the ways my outfit choices can have a low impact on the planet AND a positive impact for marginalized people. As many others have said, this isn’t a moment it’s a movement. Okay, thanks for listening ????

A post shared by Kim Seidensticker (@kimseidensticker) on Jun 9, 2020 at 12:30pm PDT

With social advocacy on the rise, Instagram has added several fundraising tools, including live fundraisers and donation stickers. The company is also reportedly testing the option to add fundraisers to profiles. Nonprofits already have access to account Donate buttons.

Instagram is also adding context to posts from high-reach accounts. In April, the company started piloting a feature that shows location and where followers are based on posts from these accounts.

Instagram post showing where account is based

Source: Facebook

9. TikTok, Twitter, and Giphy invade Instagram

The days when Instagram was only a place for filtered images are long gone. Instagram’s feed now features everything from memes and Twitter takes to TikTok challenges, special effects, music, and more.

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Wait so @princetonperez and @averywilson can sing AND DANCE?!???? I think this is day 28 of the #CoolOffChallenge ????????????????Love all of you that have been participating, this is so fun ???? @quaranbranker @denzel_chisolm

A post shared by Missy Elliott (@missymisdemeanorelliott) on May 21, 2020 at 4:23pm PDT

To keep up with competition from TikTok and Snapchat, Instagram’s been on a feature-adding bonanza—especially in Stories. The recent acquisition of Giphy, which already sourced 25% of its traffic from Instagram, will add to a collection of interactive features that already includes stickers, filters, and other special effects.

Despite more content variety in the feed, the Instagram aesthetic still creeps in. As Arimeta Diop points on in Vanity Fair: “It’s the end of the iPhone-Notes-App-Apology Era.” Bold typefaces, templates, and hand-drawn sketches have proven more popular, thanks in part to Instagram’s strong design community. Infographics and visual storytelling have taken off, too.

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Only one in four US workers have a job that allows them to work from home. I think this number might have gone up a bit since this data was collected as companies are forced to make exceptional changes to business practices because of COVID-19 but some industries just don't have that flexibility.

A post shared by Mona Chalabi (@monachalabi) on Mar 27, 2020 at 10:00am PDT

Most cross-platform sharing is up to the users, except when it comes to Facebook’s family of apps. Further integration between Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger—on the front and back end—is looming. Beyond a fully integrated shopping experience, Facebook is developing an option for users to view and reply to Instagram Stories from Facebook.

Facebook is also planning to merge messaging across its apps by the end of this year. Once complete, Instagram users would be able to message friends on WhatsApp and Messenger, even if those friends don’t have Instagram accounts. This level of integration would make the app family comparable with the WeChat, the super app that dominates in China.

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Maggi Pier

Maggi Pier

Avid gardener, artist, writer, web designer, video creator, and Google my Business local marketing pro!