December 18, 2018 Last updated on January 16th, 2019
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Instagram trends 2019. Wondering what they’re going to look like?

You’re not alone.

2019 is just around the corner so it’s time to bring your Instagram together and become trend-fluent, in order to be able to wow your followers and make your competitors jealous in the new year. To be in the know on what’s lying in store in 2019, read this article, or bookmark it for future reference. You wouldn’t want to miss this one out!

Instagram Trends 2019

Which Instagram trends became true in 2018?

Before we start, let’s take a look at which trends came true in 2018. Last year, we predicted quite a few! Here’s what we said:

1. We said that bots would disappear

And we were right. In 2018, Instagram did A LOT to clean up the platform from bots, fake likes and fake “influencers”. In fact, the big Instagram API deprecation was implemented so that dodgy services selling fake followers would cease to exist. In addition to that, Instagram continues to fight back not only against the automation apps, but also users taking advantage of them. Now, Instagram is removing fake likes and comments from people’s accounts, so if you’ve ever bought fake likes for your photo, expect them to simply disappear. Also, expect to see some Instagram features removed as a form of “punishment” for using bad practices.

In other words, 2018 saw a big clean-up of fakes, which will remain to be one of the biggest Instagram trends 2019.

2. We predicted shoppable Instagram going big

In 2017, shoppable Instagram posts were just a buzz. In 2018, however, they became a thing, with Instagram allowing not only to shoppify your feed posts, but also to use Shoppable Stories stickers. The idea: users can go from inspiration to action with a mere click of a button, and shop directly without leaving the Instagram app. It’s a win-win situation for both brands and Instagram  and, of course, shopaholics.

However, according to our annual Instagram 2019 Trends & Benchmarks report, only about 20% of marketers are actively using shoppable posts, with a vast majority admitting they haven’t noticed a sales increase from shoppable tags just yet.

Still, shoppability remains to be a trending Instagram goal, as over 50% of Instagram marketers plan to use more shoppable posts in 2019.

But that’s not it.

In 2019, Instagram will let you shop not only from feed posts and Stories, but also from Explore and video posts. And what’s more, Instagram will let you have your own “Shopping” collection for easy browsing, too.

So, we predicted shoppable Instagram going big in 2018  but we predict it’s only going to get bigger in 2019.

If you haven’t activated your account for shoppable tags yet,
read this tutorial to learn how!

3. We foresaw the rise of Instagram Ads

Instagram has over 25+ million businesses on the platform now, with 2 million of them (or probably even more) heavily investing in ads.

With the Instagram algorithm trying to fight bots and cutting reach, investing in Instagram ads has become the way-to-go in 2018. Now, there aren’t just feed and Stories ads. There are also video ads, carousel ads, and even Instagram Collection ads. According to our findings, 66% of Instagram marketers operate with a budget of anywhere from $100 to $1000 per month, that they spend on ads, boosted posts, and influencer collabs. It’s clear that Instagram isn’t going to slow down on this, so you better have a budget prepared in 2019!

If you’re a newbie to Instagram ads, read this article to learn how to
create your first Instagram ad (and this article to learn how to create your first Stories ad).

4. We predicted Stories would dominate the Instagram landscape

Said that before, will say it again: Stories have been Instagram’s smartest invention yet.

In fact, they are seeing the fastest growth EVER, even in comparison to Snapchat, Facebook, and other platforms.

To put it in perspective:

In the beginning of 2017, there were about 100 million people using Stories every day.

Now, at the end of 2018, the number is 400 million.

That’s a crazy 4x increase in less than 2 years!

In 2019, Stories will become even bigger than that. With Stories ads, shoppable stickers, gifs, filters, templates, and more fun things available, to be missing out on Stories equals committing Instagram suicide.

Instagram is increasingly becoming the social media platform of the “now”. It’s more immediate than ever, with ephemeral, disappearing, urgency-creating content taking over the permanent feed posts. What does this mean for your business and Instagram strategy? It means that you must produce content consistently (remember: high-quality only!) and post at regular intervals. Use more Instagram Stories in 2019  cannot stress it enough!

To make sure you have a streamed pipeline of posts, Iconosquare is here to help with direct publishing and Instagram scheduling.

— —

What will the Instagram Trends 2019 be?

So far we’ve got: no bots, shoppable Insta, ads, and Stories. In 2019, the Instagram community will see these trends grow even bigger.

But of course, there will more things taking off in 2019 in addition to those reviewed above. From augmented reality Stories filters, to vertical video, to a shift in the way brands collaborate with influencers, 2019 will welcome at least 5 different Instagram trends we’re predicting here at Iconosquare.

5. AR Instagram Stories filters

Remember the craze of Pokemon Go? The famous mobile game was the most downloaded and profitable mobile app in 2016 due to its cool augmented reality (AR) technology, which offered an interactive experience of a real-world environment with “augmented” objects (pokemons).

Facebook’s F8 conference discussed the focus on augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) quite a lot, which, at first, sounds like a very futuristic premise. The future is closer than we think, though, as, when you think about it, the cute face filters on Instagram Stories have been “augmenting” our lives for at least a year already.

Celebrities like Rihanna, Kylie Jenner, and Will Smith launched their own AR face filters in 2018, which you can only unlock if you follow these celebrities on Instagram (a smart growth move).

Rihanna created her diamond diadem filter, so you can sparkle your selfie and promote her annual Diamond Ball and raise awareness for the singer’s charitable foundation.

Kylie Jenner’s AR face filters had a somewhat different purpose: to let people find the right lipstick shade from the Kylie Cosmetics lip kit. You can try the lipsticks on by using your Instagram Stories camera, see which one suits you best and eventually, purchase the product.

Meanwhile, Will Smith’s filter is a throwback to his Fresh Prince of Bel-Air days: the filter places a sideways hat on you if you take a selfie  or bombs a graffiti on the background if you flip the camera.

If you’re an agency or a brand, you can apply to become the first adopter when AR on Stories becomes big, as it’s currently in closed beta. Then, you’ll be able to create your own Instagram Stories filters by using using Facebook’s AR Studio.

6. More focus on your Instagram bio

Writing up a spot-on description of your brand, utilizing Stories Highlights to tell your brand story, getting clicks on your website’s URL, or, in short  investing time to create a perfect Instagram bio  will become the task of 2019.

Your Instagram profile is where you share who you are, what you do, and why people should follow you. So, needless to say, it is one of THE most important aspects of your Instagram strategy optimization, and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Recently, Instagram announced testing different ways of presenting user profiles on Instagram, which aims to not only improve user experience, but also get brands more clicks on that Contact button.

Instagram profile changes

Read this helpful tutorial on how to optimize your Instagram bio for business!

7. Taking influencers on vacation

2018 saw an interesting Instagram trend, which started to redefine the way brands collaborate with influencers. While before, most brands would send products to influencers and expect to see a sponsored post in their feeds and Stories, this time brands are taking influencers on vacation.

The premise is simple: to hand-pick big-shot Instagram influencers with millions of followers, send them to relax to a fancy hotel at the ocean, let them try the products on and, of course, let them post all about it. This way, fashion brands like Revolve or Boohoo have been taking small groups of Instagram’s coolest influencers on vacation, and benefitting from their massive followings more authentically.

For instance, in March 2018, Revolve selected a dozen Ivy Leage Instagram influencers, and took them to Utah on private jets. The mission: create raw, behind-the-scenes shots presenting the brand from the juiciest angle possible. The strategy: curate and coordinate postcard-perfect content shot at picture-perfect locations. The tactic: pack this getaway with exciting adventures, Instagrammable meals, and other lavish offline experiences, allowing the influencers to show off how Revolve’s perfect outfits fit into their perfect lifestyle (which their followers are obviously aspiring to). Needless to say, shoppable links to purchase the items from the collection are featured in the influencers’ content.

The hashtag for the campaign was #RevolveAroundTheWorld, which now counts 56,6K posts.

Revolve Instagram Influencers Campaign min

How much does this cost?

A fortune.

Revelist looked into one of Tarte’s (a cosmetics brand) influencers trips, and made a modest estimation of $338,640, without counting the cost of paying the influencers, trip staff, and other expenses. While this might sound like ultimate madness, consider that a 30-second ad at the Super Bowl can exceed $5 million, targeting an audience of 100 million. At the same time, the dozens of Instagram influencers invited have anywhere from 0.5 to 4 million followers, which, altogether estimates an audience of about 15-20 million. The ads created are not the short 30-second commercials, but a range of posts & Stories that leave a much longer impact for the brand. Plus, you can promote your brand hashtag, harness the power of UGC, and re-use the shots for a campaign.

So if your brand has a million-dollar budget, why not!

8. Creating offline experiences

If your brand doesn’t have a million-dollar budget, though, it can still create memorable offline experiences. One of the Instagram trends 2019 is to do exactly that.

So if you’re a small brick-and-mortar store or a cafe, make sure to create Instagram-worthy moments for your offline customers, which would encourage them to take a snap, share it on Instagram, and, of course, tag your brand.

Cafe Chloe, a small coffee place based in Prague, is a perfect example. By making the decor “instagrammable”, where everything from cakes to tea cups and rose walls is pink, they made an average coffee bar into a destination that is a point of visit of any Instagram pilgrimage.

Chloe Prague Cafe min

The decor is designed to attract female teens and millennials that come to the cafe fully prepared, with perfectly synced outfits, charged cameras and empty memory cards. This way, Cafe Chloe has grown their Instagram to 13,500 followers, which is pretty impressive for a small business.

9. Vertical video

Back in the day, if you posted a vertical video, people would advise you to turn the camera next time for a video to fit the horizontal frame on YouTube or Facebook.

Things have changed since then.

With Stories, Live, and IGTV gaining in popularity, vertical videos are in fashion not just on Instagram, but also on Youtube, where you can now upload vertical videos without the black bars on the side. This YouTube update automatically adjusts the video’s aspect ratio, in order to suit the screen size on your computer, which is a pretty amazing step forward in user experience.

For Instagram, getting better at video production can help you boost your content performance in 2019. You don’t need to be a pro right away  start playing with apps like InShot or Storeo and post your results on Stories. As you get better, incorporate more vertical videos in your feed.

10. The rise of DMs

Did you hear? The Age of DMs is here!

In 2018, Instagram saw a huge rise of DMs, making it possible to send gifs, voice messages, share Stories or posts, and even do a video chat. Slowly, but steadily, Direct Messages on Instagram is becoming a powerful messaging platform, and many are already seeing it as a great alternative to FB Messenger or WhatsApp. In fact, there’s already a standalone Instagram Messenger app, with (limited) availability for iOS. So in 2019, we might see Instagram removing DMs from the platform, and offering us a separate messaging app instead — just like Facebook did years ago. Hopefully, Instagram will also make it easier for brands to respond to their DMs via third-party platforms, like Iconosquare 🤞

So if you don’t have a DM strategy in place, it’s time to think about it! DMs can be great for customer support, brand humanization, Instagram audience research, increasing your sales and conversions, and much more. The sky’s the limit!


We surveyed 4,313 social media managers and small business owners
to ask how their Instagram strategy would look like in 2019.

Take a look (no download required!)

Instagram Trends and Benchmarks Report 2019

About the author
Olga Rabo

Olga Rabo

Olga is a LeadGen manager at Iconosquare, based in Berlin. She’s all about creating strategies, increasing clickthrough rates, and sharing her in-depth knowledge of content and social media marketing. She’s a big travel addict, a huge Katherine Ryan fan, and her favorite time of the day is brunch.

More posts by Olga Rabo

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