The Most Popular Instagram Trends of 2022

Most Popular Instagram Trends of 2022

Social media is defining our society, and our society is defining social media. With Gen-Z basically dictating social media trends, it’s important to take a look at how huge platforms like Instagram are continuously learning how to cater to this younger generation. 

That’s why I thought it would be interesting to check out some of the most important Instagram trends of 2022, see what happened with Instagram trends in 2021, and what this new year will hold on to, envision or re-envision. 

Unlike our article on the most popular TikTok trends of 2022, which is more focused around video themes, this article will cover the most popular Instagram trends of 2022 both in terms of what creators are doing on the platform, but also new features that Instagram has introduced to help its creators. 

So without further ado, let’s check it out:

7 Most Popular Instagram Trends of 2022

1. Big Changes to Instagram’s Video Formats

Instagram keeps experimenting with different video formats and placements to see what works. In October 2021, they retired IGTV, their long-form video format, but haven’t given up completely on long-form videos. Users can now post up to 60-minute videos directly on their feed. However, there is no longer a dedicated button for long-form videos on the home page, but there is one if you go to a profile page.

Reels, on the other hand, keep going strong, and it’s no surprise given the obvious preference that has emerged over the past few years for short-form videos. It seems like every platform is trying to capitalize on TikTok’s success in one way or another, and it looks like it’s working for Instagram with Reels and for YouTube with Shorts. For that reason, Reels gets to keep a button on the Instagram home page, as well as one on the profile page.

Instagram is also testing a vertical feed for Stories, so there may be more changes coming to its video formats in 2022. There are even rumors going around about the possibility of having a unified feed for Stories, Reels, and long-form feed videos. 

2. Chronological and Other Feed Options

On January 5, 2022, head of Instagram Adam Mosseri announced they’re testing the ability to switch between three different types of feeds in order to give users a more enjoyable experience and more freedom over what they want to see on their Instagram page.

The first one would be the current Home feed where Instagram suggests content they believe its users find valuable, the second one would be a chronological feed named “Following” where users would be able to see solely content from the people they’re following in chronological order, and the third one would be a Favorites feed where users would select their favorite creators, family members and friends to make sure they never miss the content they’re posting. 

It will be easy to switch between the three types of feeds with a dropdown right on the homepage, and we are expecting to see this change roll out in the first half of 2022.

3. Easier Money for Creators

Instagram is trying to make it easier for creators to partner up with brands and earn money through a few different programs and new features they introduced last year:

Affiliate

Affiliate was one of the most exciting programs Instagram announced in 2021. With Affiliate, creators can easily share product recommendations and earn commission from any sales they drive from those recommendations. The program is still not available for everyone yet, but we’re waiting for updates soon.

Shops

Shopping already exists on Instagram, but this new program is geared towards creators instead of brands. With Shops, creators can now come up with their own curation of products from brands they love, open their own shop, or link an existing merchandise shop. 

In addition, creators who already have their own shop on Instagram can link their business profile to their personal profile, which allows them to display a “View Shop” button on their profile.

Paid partnerships are not anything new on Instagram, but sometimes it’s hard for viewers to distinguish paid from unpaid content, which creates a lot of unnecessary friction between creators and their followers. With the Paid Partnership Label, creators can develop more trust with their communities by easily disclosing promotional content and encouraging transparency.

Branded Content Partnerships

In October 2021, Instagram introduced Branded Content Partnerships to a handful of creators, to make it easier for creators and brands to partner up, get discovered, and collaborate directly within the app. The feature will allow you to not only build a profile that’s more easily discovered by the types of brands you’re interested in, but your partnership messages will go directly to a Primary tab folder and no longer get mixed with your regular DMs. Users have already expressed how much they love this and how they feel it will streamline their communication, save time and make it easier to build relationships.

Instagram Subscriptions

Instagram announced only about a week ago that they’re introducing Subscriptions to a limited number of U.S. creators that will be able to set a monthly price of their choice, unlock a “subscribe” button on their profile, and offer special benefits to their subscribers, like exclusive content and live broadcasts. So basically, kind of like Instagram’s own Patreon. 

We’ll have to wait and see if this feature expands to more creators over the next few months.

4. Shopping Moves to Social Media

According to Instagram’s 2022 Trend Report, more than half of young people are moving away from big box online retailers, and more towards shopping through social media. 27% of teens and young adults are expecting to shop through their social media feeds and in-app features, so it only makes sense that last year Instagram announced so many new shopping features that would encourage its users to shop directly through the app. 

At the same time, we are seeing a trend toward more sustainable shopping, with nearly 1 in 4 young adults expecting to shop more from digital thrift stores, or contributing to a more circular economy by selling their unused or worn clothing through social media.

5. Creators Are On Par With A-List Celebrities

According to Instagram’s Trend Report for 2022, 4 out of 5 young people believe that social media celebrities, as well as other online celebrities, have more influence on culture than traditional celebrities like actors, singers, sportsmen, etc. 

And if you think about it, it makes total sense. With the rise of social media over the past five to ten years, creators and influencers have shaped the culture and gathered around them communities of people with similar interests, and most importantly, interested in what they have to say. It’s easier to feel connected to a creator you’ve chosen to follow for various reasons, than to a distant celebrity that you have no connection to other than admiration. 

I believe it’s much easier to set trends and influence a highly engaged micro-audience than a distant audience of millions. Or at least, it’s on par, because you might end up reaching a similar amount of people in the end.

6. Memes Taking Over Instagram

Memes are the king of the Internet, so it’s only natural that the biological human tendency for memes has somewhat taken over Instagram as well. According to Instagram’s 2022 Trend Report, “As times continue to become more uncertain, young people are leaning on mediums they can grasp and control. Memes provide a modest amount of certainty & control. Over 1 in 5 teens and young adults paid more attention to astrology and stock memes in 2021 and many are expected to see more in 2022.”

7. Social Media Important for Social Justice

Social media is key for spreading awareness of social justice movements and it has led to instrumental changes in our society. Activists take advantage of the global platform they can have access to through Instagram, with advocates being the most active social users.

52% of young people have been following social justice accounts on social media in 2021, with even more willing to follow social justice accounts in 2022 and willing to donate to social causes. 

These were the Instagram trends we’ve found most interesting in 2022. We’ll keep updating this article and adding more as things change, so keep an eye on our social accounts, and don’t forget to share this with your Instagram friends. 

See also: What hashtags are trending on Instagram?