Throughout 2018, Instagram made some huge changes and upgrades to everyone’s favourite social media app. We were spoilt with tonnes of new updates, including the much anticipated shoppable posts, GIFS in Stories, the ability to mute accounts, add hashtags and mentions to your bio, and share posts and Stories to your Story, to name a few! As well as the welcome updates we also saw new Instagram trends taking over the platform: Stories stepped up to become a marketing necessity, Instagram added more and more ways for brands to communicate with their audience, and the influencer space because worth even more. With the vast amount of updates and Instagram trends that accumulated over the last year, we’re expecting really exciting things for the year ahead, so here are out top predictions fior Instagram trends in 2019…
#1 Stories Dominate Organic Posting
Instagram’s disaster update in Dec 2018 saw a complete overhaul of the interface — where you viewed posts in your feed as you would a Story. This caused outrage across the internet, and Instagram quickly retreated back to the normal UI claiming it to be a ‘mistake’. People don’t like change, and this time Instagram listened to their users. However, their intentions with that update were clear, and we think they’ll be back at the drawing board now thinking how to do it differently…
This is perhaps the single trend that will change everything for Instagram. We’ve seen how Stories grew in popularity the past few years, and most of Instagram’s updates in recent months have been adding to Stories: polls, questions, music, countdown, focus mode, the list goes on. Many users are already adopting this feature as their primary way of sharing content, with their main feed being secondary — more of a homepage to garner the interests of passers by — the content on their main feed is more thought out, strategic and planned, with Stories giving a behind the scenes more personal insight. We think 2019 will be the year Instagram somehow prioritise Stories over the classic feed.
#2 Direct Goes Solo
We have our bets of Instagram Direct becoming a standalone app. Now this has been rumoured for a while now, with some reports of a beta version in a few select regions. However we predict this will finally come into fruition at some point in 2019. Our hunch is based on two truths: firstly Instagram has been following the Facebook blueprint for a while now, with the introduction of an algorithmic feed, to adding live video. What we now use as ‘Messenger’ was originally ‘Facebook Messenger’, but the social media giants decided to separate it as its own app. The second truth behind our prediction is the heavy rivalry between Instagram and Snapchat. Both platforms are titans in the social media space, and in recent years we have seen Instagram mirror some of Snapchats features in order to push them out the playground. We don’t know when Direct will be launched, but it’s high up on our list of things to come this year.
#3 IGTV Will Blow Up
When IGTV launched in June 2018, it didn’t have as quicker uptake as Instagram anticipated. This is surprising, as the vertical format make it easier for creators to make content, and for users to watch it easily on their phone. However, behavioural change takes time, and only around the end of the year were the big brands and influencers really in the swing of using IGTV. Yet Instagram remains one of the only social networks where photos still outperform videos. We think this will change in 2019 — vertical video will come into its own, with more brands and public figures publishing long-form content and more users habitually checking IGTV. This could well coincide with the change in interface, as Stories and IGTV have the same dimensions. Marketing teams should brace themselves for this shift, and get into the habit of creating vertical video sooner rather than later!
#4 360° Photos
Now here’s our wildcard Instagram trend for 2019 and that is virtual reality! How you wonder? Well VR has been dubbed as the next big thing in tech for a long time, however techies are struggling to find a way to implement it AND make it accessible to everyone in a consumable way. We’ve seen Facebook attempt to do so with 360 photos, improving the way we share experience with our friends. We predict Instagram could well be following its big brothers footsteps again, and introduce some format of 360 photo or video this year. We’re not entirely sure if and how Instagram plan to implement some form of VR into their world, but we’ve seen them dabble with Augmented Reality much like rivals Snapchat, so it will be interesting to see if they step into the space!
#5 Brands Will Communicate With Their Audience More Than Ever
The introduction of Story features such as polls, questions and emoji reactions allows brands and influencers to interact with their audience on a whole new level to before. Followers feel like their opinion matters, and businesses have used such stickers to gage customer feedback and give their customers involvement in product decisions. Our prediction for 2019 is that this will become a huge trend – Instagram will release even more features allowing conversations to take place between brand and consumer, and more brands will utilise the stickers to increase brand loyalty!
⭐️ There are Hopper HQ‘s top predictions for Instagram trends in 2019! ⭐️