It's been a minute since our last top Instagram trends report. We felt like it was time for an update.
Spoiler alert: citrus is having a moment.
If some content marketing trends are seasonal, others are more ubiquitous and span all of the Insta land, no matter the time of year and regardless of the industry. Most people don't necessarily stop to analyze social curation or contemplate popular Instagram recurrences when going about their regular scrolling activities. But taking a step back to observe big picture media trends offers a lot of food for thought, as the social galaxy always lends itself to very interesting discoveries. 🕵️♀️
The evolution of content fads acts as a revealing societal case study. What triggers people to double tap is very much accurately representative of the current generation's collective psyche. It's both fascinating and useful to understand what's resonating with audiences, especially when keeping track of how things progress.
A few years ago, the from-where-i-stand shot and cold color moods were all the rage, whereas things have shifted as people grew restless of being exposed to the same types of images over and over again. Content trends stem from multiple influences, like what's all the rage in fashion and beauty, and what's en vogue in the food world. They derive from interior design inclinations and the political climate. The list goes on. They come from all directions and are the most revealing relics of specific times in history.
Every social manager knows this, but they don't always have the time to do a proper study. Which is precisely why we went ahead and identified the most recent trends in marketing from a purely visual perspective, so that you can adapt your brand's curated content to what's resonating best with users atm.
We noticed that verdure-inspired imagery is still jamming the 'Gram on the daily and that feed curation remains very prominent, but there's a mood that's taken over all that super high quality photo production we spoke about eight months ago. Visuals have reverted back to a less manicured feeling than what had been on the rise post-sit down selfie phase. Less intense filters, mundane still life, and overall lifestyle depictions are everywhere. Among other things.
Time to present our findings!
It's unclear when or where the first sightings of fruit-as-an-accessory were made on the 'Gram, but one thing's for sure: if you're not photographing your still lifes with a piece of nature's candy, then you're not really on trend. Emphasis on citrus and peaches 🍊🍋🍑.
The very smart ladies over at Man Repeller have proclaimed yellow as the next millennial pink and we're inclined to agree with them. The mellow hue has been spotted all over Insta in recent months and seems to be well on its way to dethroning the beloved girlie shade.
Messy Flat Lay
Gone are the days of meticulously arranged grid-like flat lays. Now it's all about pieces strewn disheveledly (new word alert!) across a surface, preferably an undone bed.
So we've spoken about the cold tones of yesteryear once reigning supreme on Instagram. Images always needed to be cooled down during the editing process. Things have recently pivoted towards the warm, with those tones now permeating influential galleries.
Very Little Filter
If you're using full force filters that make your images look overly worked, you need to course-correct asap. No one digs a fake-looking edit nowadays. It's all about the barely there alteration to allow the image to telegraph a more raw authenticity.
Variations on the #TopShelfie
Bless Into the Gloss and sister company Glossier for being so influential that actual content trends stem from their social activities. The #ITGTopShelfie was started by the beauty blog as a way for readers to create their own photographic versions of the site's popular Top Shelf column, which showcases beauty products used by iconic tastemakers. In prompting their audience to create and share their own collection of cosmetics, Into the Gloss created a ripple effect across social that became a legitimate visual trend.
They're not always the best quality, they're certainly not high res, they don't need a filter, and boy are they ever evocative. Nostalgia is forever the human kind's great equalizer, and the most modern of channels is feeling its effects. The irony in not lost on us.
With the travel vertical becoming increasingly ubiquitous on the influencer marketing playing field, it's easy to understand how this one came about. Insta famous ladies gallivanting about the exotic lands of Europe and beyond to broadcast the ancient land's treasures for all followers to see. Beautiful ceramics and tile work have risen to Insta bait status. Think about it: what is more photogenic than intricate designs painted in pretty bright hues? Exactly.
Mundane Still Life
Whether you're taking your object photos accompanied by fruit or not, you can still get brownie points if you're depicting a very unremarkable scenario. Think: finished plates of food, already drunk espressos, utensils on a table paired with drinking glasses, etc. Everyday humdrum made to look artsy. The weirder the angle, the better.
Shot From the Back
If there's one thing that hasn't changed on Instagram over the years, it's the fact that audiences aren't fond of obvious posing. Just mild posing. And being captured from the back in a beautiful location (or just to showcase some wares) telegraphs that planned spontaneity. A feigned pose, if you will.
Big Earrings From Below
The days of only donning dainty jewelry are behind us, and oversized, funky, statement earrings is where it's at rn. Preferably metal, preferably shot close from a below angle looking up. Go big or go home.
The rise of these 11 visual trends throughout the year has occurred pretty organically as a progression of the prevalent content fads observed in 2016. As social media channels continue to overrun our lives and dictate where we eat, where we vacation, and what we wear, Instagram will remain the most revealing platform of what people are into.
As a brand marketing on Instagram, it's up to you to cater to those demands with your visual narrative. And while it's important to partake in what people are feeling compelled by to be relevant, it shouldn't come at the expense of your strategy. Trends come and go, and remembering that not all of them will apply to your business is vital. Do experiment, but don't let go of your true north.
Looking for more Instagram chatter? Hit us up today (right after you sign up below for our weekly treats👇).