MARKETING

12 Important Instagram Trends to Watch in 2022


We’re not sure who gives physicists the OK to create laws of nature, but we’d love to propose a new unshakable truth: “When it comes to Instagram trends, the only constant is change.”

Of course that’s true of social media trends in general – digital platforms and how we use them are in a constant state of evolution and flux – but you’re here reading this story because you want to get a handle on just what’s hot and happening for Instagram video trends, Instagram post trends and Instagram Story trends in 2022. Because, yes, it’s different than last year even or even last month.

Classic Instagram. Always keeping us on our toes.

The point is: social media marketers can’t get complacent. Whether or not you actually act on Instagram marketing trends, it’s critical to at least know what’s going on, so you have the best chance of building a social media strategy and social media content calendar that are both relevant to your brand and success. Stay informed, and you can stay flexible.

Read on for the top trends on Instagram that marketers need to know for 2022.

Download the full Social Trends report to get an in-depth analysis of the data you need to prioritize and plan your social strategy in 2022.

12 of the most important Instagram trends to know in 2022

The dance revolution continues

TikTok evolved out of a lip-synching app, so music and dancing have been baked right into its DNA. And as the platform has become a social media behemoth, its trends and tendencies have started to seep into other outlets.

That means that dancing and dance challenges have become a constant on Instagram as well, with users busting moves on Reels, Stories and on main.

Instagram’s own 2022 trend report shares that 1 in 3 of its teenage users are “excited to see more dance challenges in 2022,” so expect more elaborate routines and evolving styles on the platform, and high engagement for brands who participate in or kickstart dance challenges themselves.

Instagram shop-a-thon is becoming the norm

Instagram Shopping blew up in 2021, part of a surge in ecommerce that came from the perfect storm of pandemic habits and improved digital tools. Rather than directing customers to your website, Instagram Shopping allows them to select and purchase products easily from the app.

More than 130 million users tap on an Instagram Shopping post each month – foot traffic a brick-and-mortar shop owner could only dream of.

All signs point to a continued shop-a-thon in the coming years – eMarketer predicts social commerce will be an $ 80 billion industry by 2025, and Instagram’s 2022 Trend Report announced that nearly 1 in 4 of its Gen Z users expect to shop through their social media feeds— so if you don’t have shopability enabled on your account yet… what are you waiting for?

Go learn how to set up your Instagram Shop now! This article will be here waiting when you get back.

Creators are kings

Four out of five Gen Z Instagram users agree that creators have as much or more influence on culture as more traditional celebrities. And, with the rise of the creator economy during the pandemic, there are more of these content wizards out there on Instagram than ever before: 50 million, as of 2021, in fact.

In the US, 72.5% of marketers are expected to use influencer marketing by 2022, and Instagram’s Collabs and Branded Content ads are making the ability to collaborate easier than ever for brands. The platforms latest tools allow creators to list brands they’re interested in working with, and allow brands to filter and search for best-fit creators for specific campaigns.

Basically, Instagram is playing matchmaker the best way it can and really, really wants you guys to hit it off. A new special section in direct messages just for partner messages is intended to make it easier to chat with a potential collaborator, too.

Currently in testing is the ability for creators to earn affiliate income for Instagram shops or set up shops of their own in partnership with brands.

For the lowdown on working with social media influencers and creators in 2022, check out our guide to creating a great influencer marketing campaign here.

RIP, IGTV

In October 2021, Instagram announced the retirement of IGTV, its exclusive long-form video format. Now, users can post content up to 60 minutes long directly to the main Insta feed.

Feed videos and IGTV videos will be viewable via a single tab on profile pages (Reels get their own dedicated tab). The IGTV app, meanwhile, is being rebranded as the Instagram TV app.

In other words? If you love making long-form video on Instagram, the door is still open… and our tips for mastering the form still apply!

Long live Reels

It feels simultaneously like yesterday and like a lifetime ago that Instagram launched Reels, its short-form video format designed to compete with TikTok. And thanks to an aggressive algorithmic push (and a front-and-center spot in the app’s navigation), Reels have become a cornerstone in the modern Instagram experience.

It’s in line with a broader social trend towards short-form content. Heck, even Youtube is getting into the “Shorts” game.

If you haven’t given Reels a whirl yet, there’s no time like the present. As TikTok continues to dominate the social sphere, Instagram is likely to reward Reels users, so you could see a boost in exposure or engagement for playing around with the format. Check out our tips for using Instagram Reels for business here.

Story links for all

Instagram first introduced swipe-up links for accounts with 10,000 or more followers a few years back, but this past fall, links became a more egalitarian affair. Now anyone (yes, even you!) Can now add a link sticker to their story, which opens up a huge opportunity for smaller brands wanting to drive traffic to another site or platform.

As we move into 2022, we’re likely to see more users taking advantage of this new capability. To add an external link to your story, just tap on the “add sticker” icon in create mode and select the “link” sticker. You’ll be prompted to pop in the URL and have the option to customize the sticker text, too, if you’re so inclined.

use sticker icon to add external link to Instagram Story

Social justice on social media

2020 was a particularly dramatic turning point for social justice, but in 2022, the interest in advocacy, activism and engagement is still burning bright: Instagram reports that social justice advocates are among its most active social users.

For 2022, Gen Z plans on donating even more money to social causes than in previous years, and 28 percent expect to follow additional social justice accounts on social media. If you’re a brand with a connection to a cause, charity or non-profit, it’s a great time to tap into that connection and shout out your values.

Organic reach just isn’t enough

In Hootsuite’s annual social media trends survey, a whopping 43 percent of respondents reported that their biggest challenge was “the decline in organic reach and the need to increase paid advertising budgets.”

Trying to keep up with Instagram’s constantly shifting algorithm can be incredibly challenging, and the decline of organic reach has been well-documented for years. One minute, you’re on top of the charts; the next, your engagement has dropped so low that you’re wondering if you’ve been shadow-banned and you’re contemplating buying some Instagram followers.

If you want to maintain your Instagram reach in 2022, someone on your team is just going to have to learn how to boost and master the basics of audience targeting. Not sure where to start? Consider investing in a solution like Hootsuite Social Advertising, which offers the ability to publish ads to Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn and track their performance in the same dashboard.

Dig into our five-step guide to using Instagram ads here.

get nanit Instagram ads

Live-ing it up on Instagram Live

Over the course of 2020 and 2021, the use of Instagram Live got a serious bump. (Thanks, pandemic.) It’s likely in 2022 we’re going to need to hunker down at home and turn to our phones for comfort and connection once again, so brands with a strong Instagram Live content plan are going to be well-positioned to connect with their followers.

After all, 80 percent of audiences would rather watch a livestream than read a blog post. Give the people what they want!

Download the full Social Trends report to get an in-depth analysis of the data you need to prioritize and plan your social strategy in 2022.

Two person live stream where top half of screen is someone's eyes and bottom half is someone else's mouth

Here’s our step-by-step guide to getting started with Instagram Live, and more inspiration for live streaming on social like a pro.

The return of the chronological feed

For anyone who has ever felt outwitted by the Instagram algorithm, 2022 might just be your year. Instagram announced in December 2021 that it’s experimenting with a possible return to a chronological feed, with the option for users to determine whose posts are most relevant or important.

Another Tweet clarified that this won’t be a forced change (if and when it happens), but rather an option for those who prefer to have a little more control over what appears in their feeds.

“Add Yours” collaborative albums

In late fall 2021, tantalizing new “Add Yours” stickers started appearing in folk Instagram stories. These stickers would ask users to share their own Story based around a specific theme: the last photo on your camera roll, the person you’re in love with, a picture that represents 2021.

Tapping on the sticker itself takes you to a collection of photos from everyone else who complied to the theme’s request. A collaborative album or thread, if you will.

These Add Yours stickers give a formal structure and filing system for something that was already happening across Stories and Posts. Instagram certainly didn’t invent the idea of ​​photo or video challenges, but these new stickers codify the experience.

Anyone can create a new theme with these stickers, so consider this a challenge to create a challenge for your brand that fans can put their own spin on and share with their own followers.

Replying with Reels

Hot on the tails of TikTok’s own video-response feature, Instagram announced a new way to comment on Reels: with another Reel.

Reels Visual Replies allows users to make their own video response to another person’s Reels. In the comment section of any given Reel, you’ll see an option to create a Reel of your own; that video reply will then appear as a sticker.

It’s a highly visual and interactive way for fans to engage with creators, and vice-versa, so we’re intrigued to see how this new tool plays out for brands in 2022. If the success of TikTok’s video reply function is any indication, though , Visual Replies are likely to pop off on Insta, too.

Of course, what’s true at the beginning of 2022 can change a lot over the course of a year. So consider this your starting point and stay tuned to the Hootsuite blog for the latest and greatest in Instagram trends and expert guides to new features as they emerge.

Manage your Instagram presence alongside your other social channels and save time using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can schedule and publish posts, engage the audience, and measure performance. Try it free today.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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