2020 is just about to end, so it’s a great time to review the top 10 trends of Instagram this year and predict what we should expect in the next one.

A lot has already happened in 2020 on Instagram, from going down the e-commerce road to hashtag challenges, IGTV popularity, and even brand-registered AR filters.

Stay ahead of your colleagues and friends by designing your business strategies based on the top trends of this year, as well as a few trends to expect in the next year.

Top 8 Instagram trends in 2020

We made a list of the top 8 Instagram trends in 2020 for you to review. We hope this list comes in handy when you’re developing your marketing strategies.

1. IGTV steals the spotlight

When IGTV was first introduced, it wasn’t quite clear how it would benefit the influencer community or marketing platforms. Its performance was questionable, and lots of people just couldn’t figure out its purpose.

However, after a few tweaks and redesigns, IGTV is alive and well, with lots of content creators using it to promote their businesses.

First, Instagram added the IGTV button in the Explore tab to make it more visible to users, allowing them to easily find influencers and content they’re most interested in.

Explore page brandishing the new IGTV tab
Instagram Explore page brandishing the new IGTV tab.

Next, Instagram added users’ option to post 1-minute previews of their IGTV videos in their feeds. This allowed people to discover accounts that are also creating long-form and vertical video content right in their feeds.

Now, IGTV also allows for landscape video content in long-form, making it even easier for creators to share their previously made content without re-rendering it into a vertical format. The initial venture was to increase the creation of vertical videos, but things like this need to be shuffled gradually. Adding the ability to upload vertical videos was a key step to easier content creation for users.

How to use IGTV:

  • Upload any created video, including landscape, to your IGTV feed. Choose an interesting title and a brief description. This helps you reach a greater audience.
  • Create IGTV-specific vertical videos to appear more streamlined and consistent.
  • Consider creating your own IGTV series to make users more inclined to follow your content.
  • Share previews of IGTV content to your feed to maximize user viewability.

2. Instagram stories are here for now

Since Instagram Stories were created back in 2016, they are growing more and more popular to this day, adding bigger, better, and more interactive platforms for creators to promote their brand or for people to share their stories.

With more than 500 million daily active users, Instagram stories aren’t going away anytime soon.

Instagram stories
Instagram Story share menu featuring an option to share Story to Facebook.

How to use Instagram Stories:

  • Share a photo or a video up to 15 seconds you took to your stories. If your video is longer than 15 seconds, it will automatically split into multiple 15-second parts (up to 4 portions).
  • Use stickers, GIFs, text, or a drawing. Make it interesting!
  • Add an appropriate song to the story. Make sure to mute the video sound if you’re planning to only hear the music.
  • Cross-promote your content to Facebook using the included option.
  • Take advantage of the tools inside Stories, like fonts, coloring tools, Boomerangs, Layout, etc.
  • Start linking your website content to Stories once you reach 10k followers to boost website traffic and maximize visibility.

3. Instagram Shopping is growing rapidly

Over 130 million users are tapping Instagram Shopping tags in photos each month. Instagram has incorporated so many features in its shopping platform that it could independently become an entirely new revenue stream for your e-commerce business. You could use this interactivity to promote your brand even further.

If you have an online shop, you can begin by setting up your store on Instagram. From there, you and your followers can use all the features Instagram Shopping provides, such as:

  • Tagging products in your posts;
  • Tagging products in your stories;
  • Checking out and completing entire purchases without leaving the platform;
  • Incorporate your promotion plans even further into your Instagram feed strategy.
Instagram Shopping
A shopping tag for the Maxwell Shoe on a Feroldis’ post. Source: Instagram

4. Carousel posts change the information sharing game

The use of carousels has risen in the past year, and so have the creative possibilities of content designed to fit them. Carousels allow you to share more information in one post through slides. They let you be more creative with your content and agenda.

Sliding through carousels is more like flipping through the pages of a book. You can see how carousels are put to use for continuous landscape images and Instagram vs. Reality posts. There are lots of other uses for carousels – you could basically fit any kind of multi-layered information into a carousel post, from step-by-step tutorials to behind-the-scenes posts to highlights of a memorable trip.

Carousel posts
User @corinthsuarez is using a carousel post to depict a before-after photoshoot retouch.

5. IGTV ads

This news is specifically great for creators as with the new update; they could start to monetize their videos on IGTV.

Allegedly, Instagram is rolling out 15-second long IGTV ads from a select group of partners and vendors such as Sephora, IKEA, and Puma.

Popular creators such as Avani Gregg and Salice Rose will be among the first to try out the new monetization features, with a more widespread release coming in the next few months.

Justin Osofsky, COO of Instagram, shared in an interview with The Verge that vendors participating in the Instagram IGTV ad campaign will receive an “industry standard” 55% share of all ad profits on IGTV, the same rate as YouTube.

6. Live badges

Instagram Live has been around for some time, so it was time for a proper ramp-up. Badges are Instagram’s adaptation of the trend on other social media such as Reddit, Tiktok, and Twitch, which allows for supporting fans to be noticed in the comments section and unlock additional features, including earning a place on a creator’s supporters list.

Badges are available in 3 different levels, based on the number of hearts they have. One heart is available for $0.99, two hearts for $1.99, and three hearts for $4.99. Viewers will only be able to purchase one badge during each live video stream.

Live badges
Fitness instructor @charleeatkins in a live stream. Some users have badges next to their names in the comments section.

7. Live shopping

There’s no denying that Instagram Live has stepped up its game since COVID-19 began to propagate through the world.

As a matter of fact, Facebook reported a 70% increase in Instagram Live views from February to March as creators are embracing new ways to share amid social distancing mandates.

So it just made sense for Instagram to release new Live features to help spread the word about local businesses and communities.

Introducing: Live shopping!

Live shopping
Instagram Live Shopping and Facebook Live shopping is portrayed in comparison.

8. Twitter quotes

People are posting screenshots of their tweets on their Instagram feeds because it doubles the traffic on that Instagram post.

Tweets are the trend of the year, and they are the most popular form of text posts on Instagram at the moment.

Figure 7. Two similar posts just days apart by user @lizwhite.co. The traffic for the tweet screenshot is more than 4 times higher than the portrait photo.

As you can already see, these two photos were posted just days apart. Comparing the traffic between the two, you can see that with minimal effort, you can easily increase the traffic of your account by including tweets as well.

To sum up

  • IGTV is taking the lead in 2020 and will expectedly continue to rise in the next year.
  • Stories are one of the leading platforms on Instagram for sharing all kinds of content.
  • With Instagram Shopping finding its way into posts, Lives, IGTV, and everywhere else, it’s easier than ever to find the products you’re looking for and promote your business and share stuff with your audience.
  • Carousel posts are a great way to split long pieces of content into comprehensible bite-sized tips intuitively.
  • Ads on IGTV offer a novel way to monetize content on Instagram, with the same approachable rate as YouTube.
  • Live badges are an intuitive and clean way to support your favorite influencers or promote your business by investing in shoutouts and extra features.
  • Twitter quotes are taking up users’ feeds on Instagram, increasing viewability, and account traffic.

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