9 Popular Instagram Trends in 2018 (So Far)

By Lexie Carbone

Published June 4, 2018

10 minute read

Wondering what the biggest Instagram trends of 2018 are? We’re only half-way through the year and Instagram has already seen some big changes! From shoppable posts to the latest design crazes, we’re covering the biggest Instagram trends to hit the platform this year! To help keep your business ahead of the game, here are 9


Stay on top of the biggest social media marketing trends!

Wondering what the biggest Instagram trends of 2018 are?

We’re only half-way through the year and Instagram has already seen some big changes!

From shoppable posts to the latest design crazes, we’re covering the biggest Instagram trends to hit the platform this year!

To help keep your business ahead of the game, here are 9 of the most popular Instagram trends in 2018 (so far):

Popular Instagram Trends To Watch For in 2018 #1: Tap to Edit

As Instagram aesthetic continues to stay top of mind, Instagrammers are now looking to their favorite influencers for new photo apps and editing secrets to make their photos stand out.

This year, influencers are showing off their “before and after” edits on Instagram Stories — and many of them are even selling their own Lightroom presets so followers can copy their look!

The photo transformations are impressive, and slightly addicting to tap back-and-forth on. Blogger Jaci Marie shares her “before and after” edits to show off how she achieves her signature warm-glow:

Have some photo editing tips of your own?

While it’s important that your Instagram feed remains curated and consistent, don’t be afraid to follow suite and show the “before and after” on your story or with a carousel post. Your followers will appreciate seeing what’s behind the filter and will be grateful for any tips you’re willing to share.

Need some help creating a great Instagram aesthetic? Watch our free course on How to Create Your Instagram Aesthetic, and learn everything you need to know in 30 minutes!

#2: Cross-Promoting Instagram Posts & Stories Content

Instagram Stories has exploded over the last year, with over 300 million users tuning into stories every single day. So of course businesses are going all-in on the platform, as it’s one of the best ways to reach their followers!

Driving Traffic From Stories to Instagram Posts

With more and more users shifting their attention to Instagram Stories, users have been using stories to cross-promote their regular posts. Now, instead of including a screenshot of a post to stories, users can easily share the post with the new re-share feature.

Posts shared to Instagram Stories will display the original poster’s username, letting users tap it to check out the original post.

There are a ton of different ways to use this new Instagram feature — whether it’s to share a relatable post or drive attention to a new campaign, re-sharing is a great way to build engagement and get more eyes on your content:

via Ellie Bullen

Blogger Bethany Menzel uses the new stories re-share feature to promote a giveaway taking place on her feed:

Driving Traffic From Instagram Posts to Stories

While last year it was all about the “new post” slide in stories as a way to drive traffic back to your Instagram feed, we’re also beginning to see things move in the opposite direction.

A lot of businesses are now directing their audience to their Instagram Stories, by “teasing” their story content with an Instagram post.

Take Mango for example, often premieres their latest collection on stories, using an Instagram post to give their followers a sneak-peak and letting them know where they can find more:

Outsite, a community of co-working and living spaces, also uses Instagram posts to let their audience know when they’ll be hosting a takeover, showing off a new space, or any other important event, driving traffic to their story in the process:

One thing to keep in mind if you use this strategy is that since Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours, you may need to switch up your caption once the story has ended!

You can also redirect followers to the content in your Instagram Stories Highlights! Instagram Stories Highlights are an awesome way to share important information about your brand directly on your Instagram profile — but there are tons of different ways to use highlights as a business!

#3: Instagram is Going Retro With Vintage Filters and Templates

Instagrammers in 2018 are kickin’ it old school with film filters, disposable camera apps, and vintage templates!

The most popular of the retro apps, HUJI Cam, takes photos and auto-applies a single filter, lens flare, and 1998 timestamp in the corner of the image.

Popular influencers like High End Hippie and Peace Love Shea have gone all-in on the app, creating a ton the content for stories and feeds with HUJI Cam:

Selena Gomez has even taken to the trend, with HUJI photos scattered throughout her feed:  

For video content, users are turning to apps like 8mm that creates old school vintage movies by adding dust and scratches, retro filters, light leaks and more.

Other popular film apps such as Unfold, let users add different film and polaroid borders to their photos and have started popping up all over Instagram Stories:  

Whether this Instagram trend is nearing its end or here to stay, there’s a huge focus on getting creative with Instagram Stories in 2018. While 2017 was the year to obsess over your feed aesthetic, this year you’ll continue seeing businesses investing more time into stepping up their Instagram Stories strategy.

#4: Shoppable Posts Will Keep Flooding Your Feeds

Instagram has become a full-fledged ecommerce platform as Instagram’s Shoppable Posts has officially gone global and is now available to users in 9 different countries.

Of course,  with more than half a billion monthly active users and over half a million advertisers, it was only a matter of time before users could start buying products right from the app!

While this feature was only available to a selected group of retailers in 2017, now that it’s expanded and available to all Instagram business accounts, we expect the trend of “shopping on Instagram”  only to grow from here.

Check out How to Make Money with Instagram Shoppable Posts for everything you need to know about creating a shoppable feed.

If you’re a small business or publisher looking for an easy way to drive traffic back to your website, using a feature like might work best for you! It’s the best way to drive traffic from your Instagram account to your product pages, blog, or website.

#5: Frequently Asked DM’s

Nearly every website has a “Frequently Asked Questions” section — and your Instagram should too! As more and more users turn to Instagram to search for businesses, it’s important that you give them all the information they’re looking for.

Check out, Why Your Instagram Profile is the New Homepage to learn how to optimize your Instagram profile to convert visitors into followers!

Businesses and influencers alike are taking to Instagram Stories to publicly answer their most frequently asked DMs. This is a great way to save your business time and answer questions that will most likely continue popping up in your inbox.

Every Sunday, fashion blogger, Jacey Duprie answers frequently asked questions on her Instagram Stories:

Jacey Duprie is well-known for being highly-engaging and responsive — and as her following continues to grow, using stories as a FAQ tool s a great way for her to keep up with with her audience. Taking the extra time to connect with your audience will let your followers know you’re approachable and encourage them to slide into your DMs.

FAQs are also great content to add to your Instagram Stories Highlights! Clothing brand, Sezané features their FAQs front and center on their profile:

This is a great place for businesses to include shipping information, return & exchange policies, or anything else that may be useful for your customers to know!

#6: Emoji Slider Polls

The new Emoji Slider is part of one of the latest updates to hit stories and users are already ALL OVER this new Instagram feature.

The Emoji Slider acts similar to a poll, letting users pick how much they like or dislike something with an animated emoji on a sliding scale.

When you see an Emoji Slider in a story, just drag the emoji to the left or right and watch it animate as you make your decision:

There are a ton of great ways you can engage with your audience by using the Emoji Slider in your Instagram Stories. Whether you’re looking for input from your customers or simply want to entertain your followers, the new Instagram feature is a great way to upgrade your stories content!

#7: GIFs Are Having a Serious Moment

Blinking, flashing and swirling GIFs are one of the hottest Instagram trends to hit stories this year.

Earlier this year, Instagram teamed up with GIPHY to build a library of high-quality GIFs on Instagram Stories. Instagrammers are going crazy over the new feature, incorporating the animations into their stories in fun and creative ways.

If you’ve been looking for ways to create content that is more attention-grabbing, creative, and engaging, using  Instagram Stories GIFs might be the answer!

With their GIPHY integration, Instagram Stories has continued to roll out new features to help you show off your brand’s personality. With a few simple tricks and a little bit of creativity, you can use Instagram Stories GIFs to stay top of mind with your followers and keep them coming back for more!  You can get a step-by-step Instagram tutorial about how to add GIFs to Instagram Stories here.

#8: “Accounts to Follow” Shoutouts on Instagram Stories

Love or hate it, it looks like this Instagram trend is here to stay.

While the trend, often referred to as “Follow Friday” has received some backlash, it can be a great way to engage with your audience by showing them some love on your account. You may even end up getting a shoutout in return, driving their audience back to your profile.

Not sure what I’m referring to?

Each week, blogger’s will round up their favorite accounts and feature them in their Instagram Stories:

You could say it’s the modern-day engagement pod— typically when you see a blogger featuring an account, it’s likely their making an appearance on their featured friend’s story as well.

Beware, while some of your followers may appreciate the recommendations, this can also come across as spammy. If you’re taking part in the trend, make sure to keep the account shoutouts to a minimum, only including your favorites in the roundup.

#9: Self-Care is Seriously Trending

In the digital age where we are constantly connected, people are (ironically) taking to Instagram to show off how they unplug. Face masks, meditation, yoga, and hikes — whatever “self-care” means to you, it’s a hot topic and seriously trending in 2018.

This year it’s all about getting real on Instagram —  this means longer captions and a less “filtered” look into your favorite Instagrammers lives.

And, as far as Instagram trends go, this is one we can get on board with. Whatever it is that makes you happy or helps you unwind, don’t be afraid to share it!

 This year it’s all about getting real with your followers and reminding everyone we’re all in this together. *CUE MUSIC*

Did we miss anything? Let us know what Instagram trends you’re seeing in the comments below! 

Stay on top of the biggest social media marketing trends!


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