Last year was pretty busy for Instagram, but how does 2024 look? Let’s read into what the peeps behind Insta think the new trends will be, and what else is set to make waves over the next 12 months.
- Focus on Reels
- Threads’ development
- Link in bio
- User-generated content
- Nano- and micro-influencers
- Interactive livestreams
- Broadcast Channels
- AI tools
- Photo dumps
- Collab posts
- Sustainable fashion
- Meaningful connections
- Looking for love
- Focus on ‘self’
- Extreme fandom
What are the new Instagram trends in 2024?
Before we tick off the more granular, content-focused areas outlined by the platform, let’s dig into the wider Instagram trends for 2024.
Focus on Reels
Ever since Reels became the dominant video format on Instagram, the platform has pushed them hard. We saw a glut of new editing capabilities and analytics introduced in 2023, and as YouTube Shorts and TikTok have now extended their video length, Reels have real competition.
Expect even bigger changes and upgrades as Insta looks for new ways to stay ahead of the pack. And, given there’ll likely be a laser focus on this format, it’d be worth allocating more Reels estate within your content strategy.
Instagram Threads launched to huge acclaim and traffic last year, but as of 2024, it’s not quite filled the Twitter-shaped hole it was designed to do.
If you’re asking for our two cents, Threads isn’t done – not by a large stretch. We’d wager that one of 2024’s biggest Instagram trends would be Threads leveling up. After all, there are still plenty of extra features, capabilities, and goodies that could give the app a new lease of life.
Link in bio
Attention spans are dropping. We get it. Over the past 15 years, our focus has waned from an average of 12 to just 8.25 seconds. If you’ve got something to sell or promote, you need to give people the goods fast.
Links in bios will be more crucial than ever, acting as a hub for potential customers or followers to find your best stuff at the tap of a finger. Tools like Linktree can help organize all of your essential links in one neat page, ensuring that potential clients, customers, or curious onlookers are shepherded to the right place.
We highlighted user-generated content as an Instagram trend last year, but it only seems right to include it again for 2024. As a refresher: user-generated content is content made by fans or followers of an account, usually a brand, and often with a dedicated hashtag thrown in.
At the time of writing, #UGC has more than 600,000 posts. We called it last year, though – this growth has been spurred on by influencers and brand ambassadors using the hashtag for sponsored/paid-for content, which isn’t strictly ‘user-generated’ in the purest sense of the phrase. We think this will keep gaining steam in 2024, with hordes of big-name brands employing influencers to give their products and services an authentic sheen.
Nano- and micro-influencers
Tying into the previous point, one of 2024’s biggest Instagram trends will surely be the rise of nano- and micro-influencers. Some might blurt out ‘Kardashian’ when they think of influencers, but that’s far from the truth when you’re crunching numbers.
Last year, we listed Instagram Live Shopping as one to watch. In 2024, we’re shifting our gaze a little wider: interactive livestreams across the board could be an unexpected Instagram trend in 2024.
That’s down to Instagram Live Producer, which landed on the platform late last year. Equipped with this nifty tool, creators can use streaming software like OBS or Streamlabs to deliver fully customized livestreams.
Instagram Broadcast Channels launched last year, allowing brands, creators, and influencers to deliver handy updates to their opted-in followers. We’ve talked about personalization and engagement a whole bunch across this article, and Broadcast Channels offer just that: you can drop exclusive content, updates, polls, early access links, and other announcements directly into your followers’ inboxes. They’re also great for pointing users toward old posts, if you feel people might have missed them.
The customer’s always right… right? If you’re looking for feedback on products, services, or even just your content, polls might be an Instagram trend to follow in 2024. They’re easy to set up, available in the comments, and let users voice their opinion without being directed off-app.
Not only do polls gather vital information, they also make your audience feel valued. They’re being asked for their opinion and, by way of poll, they’re engaging with you. If you want to know what your followers really think, get polling.
Search engine optimization has traditionally been considered ‘hidden’ and inaccessible, but it’s getting more kudos of late. Makes sense, really, given that SEO is essential for Instagram and any other traffic-based web activity.
Insta’s For You page, which rolled out last year, further bolstered the importance of SEO when targeting audience demographics. As casual users get to grips with how they can leverage Instagram SEO, it’s high time that brands, influencers, and other content creators understand the power of search.
2023 was the year when artificial intelligence became a truly mainstream proposition, and it’ll remain a chunky Instagram trend in 2024. Whether we’re talking video editing tools, generative content programs, or tools like our own Soundmatch, AI tech isn’t going anywhere.
Across the past couple of years, we’ve seen apps like Lemon8 and BeReal take users back to the days when social media was that little bit simpler. Instagrammers have taken that to heart, too, by going retro and embracing photo dumps again.
Rather than sticking all of their content on Reels, they’re letting their trips out, holidays, and special moments live forever as full-on carousel posts. The photo dump is a total throwback that should be embraced by all. We love them!
Collab posts have flooded Instagram in recent years, and they show no signs of slowing down. These posts are perfect for brands working with influencers, or two creators posting in tandem – they can introduce different audiences to new topics and ideas, generally broadening your content’s reach and appeal.
As brands become more trusting of influencer marketing and the rewards it can bring, we reckon that collab posts will become one of 2024’s sure-fire Instagram trends. They’re convenient, they produce results, and they'll no doubt get even better as the year goes on.
What does Instagram say the new trends will be in 2024?
Given that we’re chatting Instagram trends for 2024, why not hear it straight from the horse’s mouth? Instagram have once more partnered with WGSN to explore the latest content trends for Gen Z – the platform’s largest, trend-setting demographic – in 2024, handily packaged in Insta’s annual trend report. Let’s take a look!
Yep, we’ve all heard the spiel about young consumers gobbling up ‘fast fashion.’ However, that view is somewhat outdated in 2024. According to Insta’s research, Gen Z’s top fashion habits are thrifting, vintage and heirloom pieces, repeat-wearing, and DIY.
In fact, building on their responses from last year’s survey, Gen Z’s top fashion goal is to buy fewer new clothes. If you’re looking to appeal to younger audiences on Insta, then sustainability will likely play to your advantage. Not just with fashion, though – as we’ll discuss further down, environmental consciousness pops up throughout 2024’s Instagram trends.
The main reason Gen Z use social media in 2024 is to keep up with friends and family. Sure, they’ll scroll aimlessly like the rest of us and there’s bound to be opportunities to capture their attention, but this year is the year of meaningful connections.
That aside, they’ll look to keep up with the trends that most interest them. Those being: music, beauty, fashion, and tech. Instagram’s never been about the big ‘sell,’ and in 2024, perhaps it’s time to refresh your content strategy. If you’re a brand looking to hook these people in, take a step back and remember what’s important to them.
Looking for love
Following the previous point, Gen Z’s top Insta priority for 2024 is ‘strengthening [their] current relationships.’ And even though 63% of respondents identified as single, that’s not to say they aren’t looking for love on the ‘gram. In fact, once they’ve met someone new, 28% of Gen Z-ers would rather swap Insta handles than mobile numbers.
They’re using the platform to send subtle winks, nudges, and hints to their crushes, too. Liking someone’s Instagram Story, including them in your Story or photo dump, and adding them to your Close Friends list are all viewed as flirty actions. No, we’re not blushing. You’re blushing…
Focus on ‘self’
Self-improvement and wellness will always be buzzy on social media, and that’s no different for 2024’s Instagram trends. Gen Z’s three lifestyle priorities for the year are staying healthy, exploring a career path, and traveling.
On top of that, 33% of those surveyed think the best way to achieve wealth is through some form of self-employment. Following the uncertainty of the pandemic, financial downturn, and other negative global events, it seems that the new generation of workers are taking their future in their own hands. With fresh avenues to monetization and new social media platforms popping up all the time, who’s to say they can’t succeed on their own terms?
Food’s always been a sizable slice of social media. Once upon a time, Instagram users were mocked for posting photos of every meal, but the tables have turned. Foodie content is big business, and in 2024, one of the largest trends could be food. In particular, vegan food.
Almost half (45%) of Gen Z-ers are interested in trying vegan products, while 42% say they’d like to specifically try plant-based meat alternatives. It’s not like the world’s going to go green overnight, but it’s a loud statement nonetheless: younger Instagram users are more inclined to care about the environment, whether through the clothes they wear or the food they eat.
We all know someone who knows someone who queued two days in the snow to stand at the barrier of a My Chemical Romance show. That die-hard, unwavering dedication has only grown alongside social media, with 75% of Gen Z belonging to a fandom on Instagram.
In terms of what they follow, the three most popular areas are TV shows (anime in particular), musicians, and video games. Additionally, Gen Z users believe that sending an Insta DM to their idol is the most effective way to show their love.
As we’ve addressed a few times, Gen Z are plugged in. They care. In 2024, they’ll use Instagram to take action on the issues they hold dear. They intend to do this by ‘voting,’ ‘educating [themselves]/others,’ and ‘using social media to spread awareness.’
If you’re a brand, advertiser, or influencer of any stripe, how can you appeal to this audience? They’re not likely to just lap up anything you serve them. If we’ve learned anything from Instagram’s annual trends, it’s that their audience needs a reason to engage with your content. So, give them one!
Those were the latest Instagram trends for 2024. Will they all pop off, or will some of them fall by the wayside? You’ll have to check back at the end of the year to find out!