Summer has finally hit, and while most brands are taking a vacay, now’s the time to level-up your Instagram strategy and jump on some of the hottest Instagram trends in 2019!
With so many features, post types, tools, designs, styles, and more, it can be difficult to know what’s currently “popular” on Instagram.
To help keep your business ahead of the game, we’re highlighting 9 of the biggest Instagram trends in 2019 we’re loving so far:
Instagram Trends 2019 #1**: Posting More “Authentic” Content on Instagram**
Being more “authentic” on Instagram has been on the rise for quite some time now – in fact, it was one of our top expert predictions for 2019!
While highly curated feeds with perfectly staged shots were all the rage in the past, more brands and influencers today are stepping out of their comfort zones and sharing honest, unfiltered content to their feeds and stories.
In fact, sharing content that isn’t particularly good quality or beautiful but has some authentic quality can actually enhance your feed.
Plus, according to Later’s social media manager, Melanie Brittner, these posts can often outperform high-quality photography!
This isn’t to say that curated feeds are no longer “in.” Building a cohesive aesthetic is still one of the best ways to get more followers and grow your account.
As more and more people turn to Instagram (instead of Google) to search for their favorite brands, your Instagram profile is becoming just as important as your website’s homepage.
So just because you’re sharing “authentic” content on Instagram doesn’t mean you have to step away from your Instagram look!
A lof this comes down to the connection you have with your followers. Instagram audiences value honesty and authenticity way more than a glossy cover shoot. And displaying these qualities can help you foster a deeper, more trusting connection.
In other words, stepping back from perfectly curated feeds and stepping toward the “real-er” side of social media may even help your business!
Take @aerie for example. The fashion and lifestyle brand is a pioneer within the body positivity and inclusivity movement, and their followers adore them for it:
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Instagram Trends 2019 #2: IGTV is Going to Get Even Bigger
Only 4 months ago we wrote that IGTV views were quickly growing and asked whether the video-sharing platform was finally becoming “cool”.
Fast forward to today and IGTV is absolutely thriving!
A lot of this has to do with improvements Instagram made to the video-sharing tool — for example letting users cross-promote their IGTV videos on their Instagram feeds (making IGTV videos more accessible) and, more recently, letting users share landscape (or horizontal) videos!
This second update came as a pretty big surprise – up until now, IGTV only supported vertical video, which was a big part of its launch in June 2018.
Unfortunately, this is also what made IGTV difficult to use for creators and social media managers. Vertical videos are more time-consuming to create and edit and they aren’t as easily repurposed to other channels.
But now that IGTV supports both vertical and horizontal video, we’re seeing a ton of brands and influencers jump on the new format and try their hand at long-form content!
We’re even seeing influencer partnerships develop on IGTV! For example, flip-flop brand @havaianas recently partnered with @wearetwinset to create a series of branded travel videos on IGTV:
Similarly, @gymsharkwomen recently partnered with fashion influencer @inthefrow to promote their fitness gear and outfits:
Influencer marketing on IGTV is definitely a trend we expect to see more of in the future. And while a lot of brands are starting to take to IGTV, it definitely isn’t overloaded yet — meaning it’s a great time to get started with the platform and flex your video muscle!
Check out our Ultimate Guide to IGTV to learn more about how your business can get started with long-form video!
Instagram Trends 2019 #3: Adding Eye-Catching Animations to Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are usually fun, fast, and usually far less polished than regular Instagram posts. Well, at least they used to be!
One of the biggest trends on Instagram Stories this summer is brands stepping up their design game and creating super eye-catching animated videos.
It’s actually a great strategy for businesses. Creating animated Instagram Stories is the perfect way to grab your audience’s attention and stop them from swiping past your story!
While a lot of people tend to speed-tap their way through Instagram Stories, viewers are much more likely to stop and watch when a flashy, moving animation catches their eye.
And here’s the good news: you don’t need an expensive camera crew or design team to create animated Instagram Stories that wow your audience! In fact, there are tons of apps for Instagram Stories that make it easier than ever to add animation to stories in just a few clicks!
Take Life Lapse for example. The app makes it easy to create high-quality stop motion videos right from your mobile device, and their handy tutorial guides you through every step of the process.
But Life Lapse is more than just a stop motion creator. The app is also packed with editing tools, including a variety of different speeds, filters, and stock music, and an interval timer to help you get the timing of your video just right.
Another great tool is Adobe Spark — it’s perfect for anyone trying to create animated graphics on-the-go.
Whether you’re adding a touch of animation to your text or a subtle movement to your graphics, Adobe Spark is perfect for making your stories more eye-catching.
Thanks to the growing popularity of Instagram Stories, most design apps like Mojo, Life Lapse, and Over are free (or have free versions for basic edits!) — so you can start creating high-quality, animated Instagram Stories in just minutes!
If you’re looking for some more creative ways to level-up your Instagram content, you can check out our 14 Apps For Creating Gorgeous Instagram Stories blog post!
Instagram Trends 2019 #4: AR Effects on Instagram Stories Are About to Blow Up
It goes without saying that AR effects have been huge on Instagram in 2019 and we only expect this to ramp-up as Facebook opens up Spark AR Studio (the software used to create custom AR effects) to Instagram!
ICYMI: Spark AR Studio is an augmented reality platform for Mac & Windows that allows you to create AR effects for mobile cameras. Think of it like Photoshop or Sketch, but for augmented reality.
Until now, if you wanted to submit your own custom AR effects on Instagram Stories, you had to be accepted to the closed beta program… but that’s all about to change!
This summer, Instagram effects will be open to anyone who wants to create and share stories filters using Spark AR Studio!
This is a huge deal and an exciting opportunity for artists, brands, influencers, and everyday people to get creative and learn how to make their imagination a reality using AR.
As we explain in our Ultimate Guide to Spark AR Studio, AR on Instagram has enormous potential as a marketing tool — but it’s still massively underused.
Because of this, businesses have a lot to gain from jumping in early, learning the ropes, and finding creative ways to build and share their own branded AR experiences on Instagram Stories.
Take Kylie Cosmetics. And early adopter of AR on Instagram, when you select Kylie Cosmetic’s AR effect on Instagram Stories, you can “try on” different lipsticks from Kylie’s Lip Kits (like Candy K and Glitz) to see which shade best suits your skin tone before making a purchase.
Instagram also has a unique system for unlocking filters (you have to follow the creator first), so businesses stand to gain tons of new followers by creating highly shareable AR effects for Instagram Stories.
In fact, some early AR designers have gained tens of thousands of followers after sharing their custom effects on Instagram Stories!
Facebook has yet to give a specific date for when the beta program will open, but they announced at F8 this year that it would happen this summer. Let’s hope it’s sooner, rather than later!
Instagram Trends 2019 #5: Instagram Feeds are Getting Way More Designed
Brands, influencers, and regular Instagram users are all getting super creative with their feeds in 2019, incorporating everything from Instagram overlay stickers to beautifully designed Instagram collages.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Instagram Overlay Stickers
Stickers have seen a huge surge in usage in Instagram Stories, and now the trend is making its way into Instagram feeds too!
Businesses, influencers, and Instagrammers alike are jumping on the trend to create eye-catching content that stops scrollers in their tracks.
Instagram overlay stickers are graphic designs that are added to an image or video. Bright flowing lines, lightning bolts, and flowers are already proving to be popular choices:
From hand-drawn doodles to colorful rainbows, these stickers can be used to add a bright pop of color, set a fun and playful tone, and bring extra personality to your posts.
Take for example Create & Cultivate, who add pastel brush strokes and dainty illustrations to really dial up the celebratory mood of their posts. Or American Apparel took a much bolder approach to the trend:
With so many ways to level up a simple image with overlay sticker for your feed, it’s no wonder we’re seeing tons of influencers and brands jump on the trend.
Even cult beauty brand Glossier is working the trend this summer — they showcase product swatches in their overlay stickers, creating a fresh new way for followers to interact with their products:
Here’s the good news: thanks to easy-to-use design apps, you can now quickly create custom overlay stickers for your pictures too!
In fact, we created our own FREE Instagram Overlay Sticker Pack that you can use with your favorite editing app! Just sign up below and we’ll send the pack straight to your inbox!
Instagram Feed Collages
A lot of popular Instagram trends start with influencers, who are constantly trying to find new creative ways to express themselves on the platform (and attract new followers).
You can find collages everywhere on Instagram right now, and what started as an Instagram Stories trend is trickling down into the Instagram feed now too.
But these aren’t your average cut and paste collages –– tons of new apps are popping up to help you create on-brand designs and take on this trend in a way that fits with your business.
Last year, Unfold exploded on Instagram Stories, kicking off the Instagram collage design trend. The app’s collage templates became a popular way to share products and outfits in fewer slides and provided a way to get more creative and intentional on the platform.
In fact, the Instagram collage trend is so hot right now that brands have started to collaborate with collage apps to release their own branded collage templates that users can post on their own feeds.
Tommy Hilfiger partnered with Unfold to release their own templates:
The millennial power brand Revolve collaborated with the StoryLuxe app to create special collage templates for Coachella that were a hit with both brands and attendees:
While collages initially gained popularity on Instagram Stories, it’s now trendy to see collages in the feed and even on IGTV too!
If you’re looking for ways to boost your engagement and get more followers, you’ll definitely want to jump on this new trend in 2019!
Ready to take your Instagram Stories to the next level? We teamed up with the popular Instagram Stories app Storyluxe, to offer you FREE stories templates right from their iOS app!
Instagram Trends 2019 #6: Sharing “Shoppable” Posts on Instagram
Instagram has become a full-fledged e-commerce platform as Instagram’s shoppable posts have officially gone global and are now available to users in 46 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 shopping for products right from the app.
But it doesn’t stop there! Instagram has implemented a new “Shopping” channel on the Explore page to help you find product-related posts from the brands you follow and brands that Instagram thinks you might like.
And they’re also in the process of rolling out a new “checkout” feature that will let you buy products without ever leaving the Instagram app!
While there are lots of different ways for brands (especially e-commerce brands) to weave sales opportunities into their Instagram marketing strategy, having Instagram shopping posts in your feed is a feature you definitely want to take advantage of!
Check out How to Make Money with Instagram Shoppable Posts for everything you need to know about creating a shoppable feed.
Plus, Instagram announced a new way for influencers to connect with their followers: shoppable posts for creators.
While it’s still in the process of being rolled out, users can start shopping directly from a creator’s account without ever leaving Instagram. With the ability to tag products in their posts, creators can make it easy for their followers to shop their favorites directly from their feed.
So you can expect to see tons more shoppable posts appearing your feed from your favorite influencers!
If you’re a small business or publisher looking for an easy way to drive traffic back to your website, using a feature like Linkin.bio might work best for you!
It’s the best way to drive traffic from your Instagram account to your product pages, blog, or website.
Linkin.bio by Later allows you to add links or tag products in Instagram posts to turn your feed into a clickable, optimized landing page.
Plus, you can connect your Shopify store to tag products in Instagram posts and get sales data every time you tag a product!
When people click the link in your bio, they’ll then be able to browse all your products and shop your feed!
So if you have a Shopify account, setting up a Linkin.bio profile could really help you direct your audience to your product shopping pages, and generate sales. And it only takes a few minutes to get set up!
Here’s so more great news: we just released a free version of Linkin.bio, so everyone can start driving more website traffic and reaching their sales goals through Instagram with Later.
You can set up Linkin.bio by Later right now for free – no trials or credit card needed!
Instagram Trends #7: Showing Your Support for Important Causes on Instagram
Using Instagram as a platform for raising awareness about important causes isn’t new, but it is becoming more popular.
Take Pride Month, for example. The celebration reached new heights on Instagram this year with hundreds (maybe even thousands!) of businesses changing their logos to show support for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Similarly, there’s been a huge social media movement this summer to raise awareness for the ongoing violence in Sudan with thousands of users changing their logos to a specific shade of blue to show solidarity with protesters.
These are just a few examples of a growing trend on social media. Today, more businesses and influencers feel comfortable showing support, raising awareness, and starting a positive conversation on topics and issues that matter to them most.
We’ve seen it with Nike’s Colin Kaepernick campaign, Gucci’s support of anti-gun violence, and Patagonia’s ongoing leadership on environmental issues:
Plus, now with Instagram’s new donation sticker, it’s easier than ever for brands to promote (and raise proceeds) for the causes that matter to them most.
Influencers and celebrities are already jumping on the new feature as well. For example, musician Pharrell Williams recently shared the sticker to support From One Hand to AnOTHER, an organization that helps provide children across the US with the tools and resources to meet their unique potential:
Instagram Trends 2019 #8: Sharing Viral Tweets on Instagram
One of the biggest (and strangest) design crazes to hit Instagram this year is using the platform to share screenshots of viral Tweets.
Meme accounts like @daquan and @thefatjewish have been doing it for years, but the big surprise is that brands are now jumping on the trend!
Seriously! There are so many examples of businesses sharing screenshots of Tweets to their feeds — everyone from @boohoo to @prettylittlething and @hellosunshine are doing it:
According to Megan Farokhmanesh, who recently wrote about the phenomenon for The Verge, “For some meme creators, Twitter and Tumblr are a canvas, while Instagram is the wall where they display their work.”
But the community aspect that we love about this trend is that it’s not brands reposting their own Tweets on Instagram — they’re finding Tweets from their community that reflect their brand style, attitude and messaging so it appeals to their Instagram followers too!
Of course, whereas meme accounts are happy to share screenshots as is (aesthetics don’t matter quite as much in comedy), businesses and influencers are taking it a step further and adding on-brand backgrounds to their posts.
Check out how Later did it with a simple ocean scene as a backdrop to keep up our aesthetic:
It’s difficult to say how long this Instagram trend will last, but it’s definitely one to look out for!
Instagram Trends 2019 #9: Micro-Color Blocking Your Instagram Feed
You might have spotted the color blocking trend on Instagram in the past — a series of similarly toned images all posted alongside each other. And it looks awesome right?
Well, it appears that some brands and influencers are taking it a step further by incorporating micro-color blocking into their feeds!
Influencer @tyfench recently dabbled in the design style:
Even Later jumped on the micro-color blocking Instagram trend earlier this year!
If you’re looking for a tamer (but still incredibly gorgeous!) example of color blocking in action, look no further than @katvondbeauty.
Incorporating this kind of color blocking into your Instagram feed takes time, planning, and organization — especially if you don’t have a dedicated social media editor or graphic designer to create all that content.
So if you’re looking to create a similar effect on your account, you may want to check out Later’s Visual Instagram Planner!
It shows you exactly what your Instagram feed will look like with your scheduled posts in it — and it’s a game-changer when it comes to nailing your aesthetic!
Just drag and drop your photos onto the visual planner, rearrange them to see how they’ll look in your Instagram feed, and then save to schedule them!
DESIGN TIP: If you want to keep your color blocks from breaking up when you add more posts, you should consider stacking them vertically!
Hopefully, this Instagram trend report has sparked some creativity and you’re feeling ready to level-up your feed aesthetic and start experimenting with new content for your audience.
Did we miss anything? Let us know what Instagram trends you’re seeing in the comments below!
Ready to start curating and sharing UGC to Instagram? Check out Later’s Collect feature to easily find, schedule and post user-generated content to your social feeds!