Buckle up, because a lot is about to happen on Instagram over the next 12 months.
Creator-led shopping is set to revolutionize how we shop online, the chronological feed is set to return – and, head’s up, we’re about to see a lot more suggested content coming our way.
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Ready to get ahead of the curve? Here are the six biggest Instagram marketing trends you need to know in 2022:
Suggested and Chronological Content Feeds
Merged Video Formats
Community Engagement Features
Trend #1: The Introduction of Chronological and Suggested Content Feeds
Your eyes are not deceiving you: the chronological feed could be making a comeback very soon.
We want people to have meaningful control over their experience. We’ve been experimenting with Favorites, a way for you to decide whose posts you want to see higher up, and we’re working on another option to see posts from people you follow in chronological order.— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) December 8, 2021
So what does this mean for Instagram in 2022?
We’re putting our money on a new Home feed that has the option to toggle between a “Suggested For You” and a chronological “Following” feed.
Sound familiar? Well, that’s because it is.
TikTok has already paved the way with this format, and it clearly works; TikTok is now officially more popular than Instagram amongst US-based Gen Z users.
TLDR; Suggested content feeds are coming to Instagram – but there will be an option to see a chronological feed too.
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Trend #2: Video Formats Will Merge
Instagram already merged IGTV into Feed Videos – but we’re hedging our bets on a more streamlined Instagram video offering in 2022.
With feed videos, Reels, and Instagram Stories all still at play, it’s highly likely that Instagram will move towards a more unified approach.
In fact, we’ve already seen reports that Instagram is testing a vertical Instagram Stories feed:
Looks similar to Reels, right?
Obviously this new format is currently in test mode – but now that we’ve seen it, it doesn’t feel like too much of a stretch to have a single feed that brings together feed videos, Reels, and stories.
Trend #3: Creator-led Commerce Will Change the Way We Shop
If you thought Instagram was turning into a shopping platform, get ready, because you haven’t seen anything yet.
Because in 2022, Instagram will be rolling out their native creator affiliate program more widely, which will provide a significant monetary incentive for influencers of all sizes to sell products on behalf of brands.
The introduction of affiliate (or “commission-based”) revenue on Instagram removes the need for complex agreements and contracts – making influencer marketing on the app much easier for everyone to get involved in.
And that’s not all. Instagram is set to make “Creator Shops'' available to more users on the platform – providing a new destination for influencers and creators to showcase products from brands they love (while earning commission from the sales they inspire).
The summary: creator-led shopping is about to go mainstream – so don’t be surprised when your Instacart receipts reach new heights in 2022.
Trend #4: The Rise of Brand Personalities
Gone are the days where Instagram was solely for sharing aesthetically-pleasing pictures. Now, the app is home to something much more impactful: community and conversation.
That’s right, Instagram is putting the “social” back in social media.
So what does that mean for brands and creators? In a nutshell, it means it’s time to bring your personality to the table.
Whether that means showing up on Instagram Stories, bringing your voice to your Instagram captions, or getting creative on camera for Instagram Reels.
At Later, a member of our team goes on Instagram Stories each week to share some key learnings about a trending social media topic. It’s informal, chatty, and full of personality.
As a result, we’re able to connect on a deeper level with our most tapped-in followers – building a stronger sense of community and encouraging engagement.
Trend #5: Video Memes Will Reign Supreme
Memes will forever be a recipe for instant success – but in 2022, video memes are where it’s at on Instagram.
Video memes are just like static memes – something abstract, funny, or cute paired with a relatable sentiment – but in a more dynamic and engaging format.
Take a look as this video meme from Later’s Instagram account that’s generated over 124K views with a reach rate of 33%:
"The evolution to video memes is a natural progression,” shares Mel Mckechnie, Later's Social Media Manager.
“Video memes allow for the jokes to go a little deeper and for more story to be told with the format. It also keeps your audience on the post for longer, waiting for the next piece of relatability."
As Instagram continues to prioritize short-form videos above all other formats, video memes are set to be one hot ticket for viral success.
Schedule your video and photo content in advance with Later – sign up today!
Trend #6: New and Improved Community Engagement Features
When it comes to conversation prompts, no one does it quite like Instagram.
From emoji reactions to interactive story stickers, Instagram knows how to drive conversation and build community – and this is one advantage they’re not going to compromise in 2022.
So what could we see in the next 12 months? First up, we predict that engagement-driving stickers (such as the Question sticker) will enter the Reels chat.
Additionally, we anticipate that comment replies will become more engaging and interactive – with the ability to reply via a video or a voice note.
The takeaway? If you’re still thinking of Instagram as a photo-sharing platform, listen up, because things have changed in a BIG way.
Instagram is an immersive communication channel, and if you want to succeed in 2022, it’s time to roll up your sleeves, get in front of the red light, and let your personality shine.
The more dynamic, personal, and engaging your content is, the better!
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