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The Instagram trends 2020 surprised me.

In a good way.

There are 12 Instagram trends we’ve noticed.

Let us know in the comments if you’ve noticed any other trends. Things you see other Instagrammers do more and more. New content types or anything that you think is different. It will be interesting to see what you’ve noticed too.

Ready?

Let’s start.

Instagram Trends #1. Hidden Likes = More Posting

As you know, Instagram has been testing hiding likes.

This is a major change which will have a major impact on people in 2020.

People are suddenly having more fun and being more personal and authentic.

Because:

  • Not seeing likes = less pressure.
  • Less pressure = more fun.
  • More fun = more posting.
  • More posting = more connection and authentic growth.

Finally!

Let’s be real.

For some people, “likes” are only a vanity metrics that stop them from posting because “what if no one likes it…?”.

The mindset is that if you don’t get “enough likes” you’re “not enough”. Or your content is “not good enough”.

This mindset is dying off.

Instead of focusing on increasing a “number”, people are now focusing more on growing meaningful relationships, or posting what makes the most impact for their communities or their business.

Like I always say:

We’re seeing a trend of people posting more about what they love, what they really think about a subject, writing like they speak, staying true to their passion and beliefs, and building a deeper relationship with their followers.

And this results in people actually growing on Instagram in an authentic way.

Good-bye vanity metrics, hello authenticity.

Instagram Trends #2. Natural Feed + Natural Photos

People are loving posting natural photos:

  • Photos that don’t look overly edited (it’s the new “not-edited” edited trend)
  • Photos that are not too “staged” but more taken “in the moment”

@jacimariesmith is the perfect example:

Even though the photos look “natural”, people’s overall Instagram feed still looks cohesive and put together.

What they do:

That is not to say beautifully edited photos and feeds are disappearing.

A branded Instagram feed is still extremely valuable to brands, personal brands, and businesses who want to stand out on Instagram and have a clear and recognizable visual presence.

The look of their Instagram feeds is still essential in 2020 to make the best first impression and stick in people’s mind.

A filter conveys an emotion, just as much as words or a beautifully captured photo have the power to make you feel.

For example:

@gotoskincare is known for its soft, peach Instagram theme (that reminds us of clear skin). Their brand color is recognizable from miles away.

@kylieskin is known for their pink Instagram theme:

@saltyluxe is known for her tropical edits:

@kyliekatich is known for her moody edits:

@theskinnyconfidential is known for her pink obsession:

@thecontentplanner is known for their yellow and blue Content Planners. Their Instagram feed reflects the color of their products:

Natural filter:

  • Use the “Cream” filter pack in Preview app for a “no-edit” edit look
  • My personal favorites: Filter P3 in the “Blogger” filter pack and S4 in the “Cream” filter pack
  • Choose any other filter in Preview app and lower the intensity of the filter for a more natural look. Your whole feed will look natural and cohesive at the same time.

This is Filter S3 in the “Cream” filter pack.

Instagram Trends #3. Long Captions

There are 2 types of captions on Instagram:

  • Short and sweet, or
  • Long (storytelling + micro-blogging)

Long captions are becoming more and more popular.

Storytelling is the new “trend”.

I use trend in “quotation marks” because I don’t feel it’s a “trend”. But more a result of people becoming more human on social media.

People now use captions to “talk” to their followers, start conversations, and share what’s on their mind.

They write like they speak to friends.

Words are flowing.

And it works.

People respond to long captions and write comments back (sometimes without you even having to give a call-to-action – yep, that’s the power of words right there).

Words connect people.

To quote our community, who said it so well:

“Your photos catch our attention. Your captions make us stay”.

Your captions are a chance to connect with your audience.

Don’t let it go to waste.

If you feel stuck: Just start writing. Seriously. Just write.

A perfect example is @laurenastondesigns. She always has an open chat in her captions. And her followers love chatting with her too in the comments section:

Another awesome example is @theskinnyconfidential who sometimes just starts writing what’s on her mind. These posts? Get the most comments without even her asking for it. It’s the power of being personal right there.

And finally, another awesome example is @petermckinnon. He always writes his captions like he is talking to his friends. He shares what he is working on, what he is excited about, and what is on his mind. The result? An awesome community of people who love to interact with him.

Tips:

  • Be human
  • Share what you’re up to
  • Write like you would talk to a friend
  • Think of Instagram as your personal journal
  • Have a blog? Share a part of your blog post as your caption
  • Share tips, tricks, what you’ve learned, your experience, your story
  • Share the story behind the photo
  • Sharing tips? Write like you would help a friend
  • Writing your captions shouldn’t feel forced. Sometimes, just a few words can be enough if your image speaks for itself.

Instagram Trends #4. New Hashtags

Hashtags = Communities on Instagram.

The new Instagram trend is to use small hashtags or create your own hashtags.

Small hashtags are hashtags that have less than 50k posts.

For example #bloguettes (36.7k posts) is a hashtag used to gather women bloggers:

Why bother with small hashtags?

Because people from a very specific community use them. And these people are very connected with each other.

This means that they frequently use these hashtags to connect and support each other (by liking and commenting on each other’s posts).

For example, @kyliekatich created 2 new hashtags:

As you can see, her community is using #ImPostingBoth (to share Instagram versus Reality photos):

Tip:

  • Can you create your own hashtag for your community to use?
  • Use the Hashtag Finder in Preview app to find new, small, community hashtags

Instagram Trends #5. The Rise of Text images

Text images are becoming more and more popular on Instagram.

For example:

  • Quotes
  • Infographics
  • Sticky notes
  • Notes in a notebook
  • Quotes on a wall

Text has the power to quickly communicate a thought and idea.

It also grabs people’s attention on the Explore page, which has mostly photos and videos.

Instagram Trends #6. Twitter Quotes

Twitter quotes are one of the most popular text posts on Instagram at the moment.
I have no doubt this trend will continue in 2020.

Here’s why:

Twitter quotes usually bring more traffic to your page than other types of Instagram posts.
They can double the amount of traffic you get.

For example:

And here is another example.

These 2 posts are just one day apart. The photo got 1,085 likes. The Twitter quote got 2,650 likes.

How to do a Twitter quote :

  • Post on Twitter
  • Open your Twitter post
  • Take a screenshot
  • Post it on Instagram

Done.

Instagram Trends #7. Doodle + Emojis on Photos

People are making their photos more fun and personal by doodling on their photos.

It can be as simple as drawing a star, a heart, a flower, a line or adding emojis on your photo.

Here is what I created using my Preview app:

Tips:

  • You can use Preview App to doodle on your photos
  • You can draw on your photo using Instagram Story tools (inside your Instagram app), then save the photo and post it on Instagram
  • You can use Picsart app to add fun stickers (like rainbows) on your photos

Instagram Trends #8. The Rise of Carousels

Carousels (multiple photos or videos in one post) are also becoming increasingly popular.

Sliding through a carousel is like flipping through the pages of a book.

You can get very creative and bring people on a journey, slide-by-slide.

Carousels allow you to share more information in one single post.

People use carousels to show:

Anything you can think of, like a reminder to “Breathe in” and “Breathe out” or going on a rollercoaster ride.

Tip:

Instagram Trends #9. Repurposing Content

People are now using their Instagram content, more than once, in different places.

For example:

  • They save their Instagram Stories and post it as a photo on their feed.
  • They do an Instagram Live and post it as an IGTV video on their channel.
  • They share their Instagram posts on Pinterest.

This is a great strategy to make sure more people see your content.

For example, if people missed your Instagram Story, they can still see it in your feed.

This is what a lot of people do:

  • They use a Carousel post
  • The first image is a nice photo or video
  • The second image is a screenshot of their Instagram Story

Instagram Trends #10. TikTok invasion

It’s official.

TikTok is invading Instagram Stories and feeds.

People are sharing their TikTok videos in their Instagram Stories.

They also use the TikTok video editing tool to create videos for their Instagram.

Instagram Trends #11. Joining Fun Challenges

Challenges can help you become viral on Instagram.

Each challenge has its own hashtag that you can use to join the movement.

Here’s the thing:

As soon as a challenge becomes popular, a lot of people (including news outlets + magazines + other Instagram accounts) go to the hashtag page. They check out people’s posts for that challenge.

They will repost the most fun/weird/interesting ones.

They can repost you.

Examples of challenges that blew up:

#BottleCapChallenge

Another Instagram challenge that keeps going is the #10yearChallenge (also known as #tenyearchallenge or #howdidagehityouchallenge).

Show a before and after photo of yourself 10 years ago versus now.

Almost everyone from celebrities to YouTubers to business owners have been doing this challenge.

Tip: Do you have a business or brand? Join challenges whenever possible. Think outside the box. How can you join these challenges in a fun way, while still being relevant to your brand? Ideas:

  • Where was your business 10 years ago? What were you doing/thinking/dreaming of 10 year ago, versus where you are at now?
  • If you have been selling products for 10 years, what was your first product versus your latest product?
  • What is a super fun before and after you can create? Even if it hasn’t been 10 years 😉

Instagram Trends #12. Tagging Trains

Here’s an example:

As you can see at the bottom of the caption, @preview.app, @laurenastondesigns and @breedesigns_ are tagged.

In turn, these 3 accounts will jump on the train. They will create a post and tag 3 of their friends.

Then, the train will continue its road on Instagram.

This trend has recently started.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a screenshot when I saw it. So I’ve just created the one above as an example.

It’s still a pretty cool Instagram trend that I would love to see continue in 2020.

This trend brings Instagrammers together, makes Instagram a more social place for creators and their followers.

It allows people to discover new Instagrammers as they continue to follow the journey on the train.

That’s it for Instagram Trends 2020!

Overall, Instagram seems to be becoming more human, personal and fun in 2020.

To recap:

  1. Hidden likes = more posting (go for it!!)
  2. Natural feed + Natural photos (+ branded feed for brands/businesses)
  3. Long captions
  4. Small and Community Hashtags
  5. The Rise of Text images
  6. Twitter Quotes
  7. Doodles + Emojis on Photos
  8. The Rise of Carousels
  9. Repurposing Content
  10. TikTok invasion
  11. Joining fun Challenges
  12. Tagging Trains

Have you noticed any other Instagram trends?

I haven’t mentioned IGTV because I’m not too sure yet where this is going (apart from sharing long videos and maybe creating a series thanks to the new IGTV series feature).

I’ll report back on this in a few weeks.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Alex

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