We’re about to step into a brand new decade, and Instagram is coming with us. 

That’s right, the visual content sharing app is still on the rise as one of the most popular social media platforms on the market – only to be beaten by Facebook, YouTube and Whatsapp. And its power for businesses is unmatched; Instagram’s current potential advertising reach is over 849 million people. 

Instagram is more important than ever, so taking a great posting strategy into the new year could be the best resolution you have for your business. From grid aesthetics to posting times, to the ongoing battle between light feeds and dark feeds – where will Instagram trends go in the start of the next decade? 

Here are our top 5 Instagram trends we think will really steal the show for 2020.

1. Images as videos

It’s no secret that as of late, Instagram has been pushing video content heavily. Video drives purchases and interest on Instagram, and its algorithm in turn pushes video content to the Explore page more often than photo content. 

It’s apparent that video content is the way to go, but we predict that turning static images into video content is going to be a huge marketing trend in 2020.

By overlaying a video filter onto a graphic or image, your business can take whatever message you’d like to convey within an image and convert it into Instagram’s favorite form of sharing. This will help your business gain more attention on Instagram and even may give you a higher chance of receiving more impressions.

Here’s an example of an image overlaid with text slides to turn it into a video. This is a quick, easy way to turn your content into an animation that has a higher chance of being featured on the Explore page. 

If you want something that will really stand out, try using multiple frames and images to create a reel of amazing video that features multiple products. Here, you can clearly see a variety of different images showcasing the versatility of the product – all in video format!

You can create a post like this using any video editing app of your choice – here’s a list of some of our favorite editing tools

2. Direct engagement

If you want to connect with your Instagram audience more efficiently and authentically, you’ll want to stick to more direct human engagement in 2020. As communication technology advances, it’s becoming more and more expected of brands to interact with their audience. You have every opportunity possible to create conversations with users, pitch products and ideas, answer questions and concerns, and more. 

Using the direct messaging feature on Instagram, your business can start conversations with your followers – creating a more dynamic and well-rounded human presence for your brand that consumers are looking for. You can also try responding to your followers’ stories to create a natural conversation that your audience will remember.

Here are a few of our key tips on creating an authentic back-and-forth dialogue with your Instagram followers: 

  • Always introduce yourself!
  • Communicate in your brand voice to create consistency.
  • Be as helpful as possible (send links, provide information, etc.)
  • Create as many opportunities to speak with open-ended questions.
  • Use emojis to add human tone to your messages.
  • Keep notifications on so you never miss a chance to respond!

You can also create these organic conversations right in your comments section! Generating communication on your Instagram posts not only builds up a rapport with followers, but it also boosts your engagement rates on your content and can help boost your content to more of an audience. Talk about a win-win situation! 

3. Dark feeds

Just a few months ago, Instagram rolled out its dark mode feature – enabling Instagram users to shut the lights out on their feed and create some interesting grid concepts to match. 

Since its release, Instagram users have been scrambling to create interesting grids and posts to match the dark mode feature, using the hashtags #darkfeed and #darkmode for engagement purposes. 

If this is something that speaks to your business’s theme, you’re in luck – we don’t predict that dark feeds will be slowing down in the new year. With so much more to still be explored, you can expect a plethora of opportunities to create an aesthetically pleasing theme that still features products and attracts audiences, but that still sticks to the dark mode theme. 

For grid planning help, you can check out some of our favorite social planning tools. These tools will help you plan your aesthetic, edit photos to fit the dark theme, and schedule posts according to your marketing plan.

4. Curating User-Generated Content

Sticking to bringing authenticity and realness to the table, User-Generated Content will still be going strong into the next decade with no signs of ever going out of style.

User-Generated Content, or UGC, is content shared by your consumers that show your products being used in an everyday setting. You can curate this content from your Instagram followers – those people who use and showcase your products on their own social media profiles. 

UGC is different for every business, and it all depends on your brand persona and line of products. If you’re a skincare brand, you’ll want to curate photos that show your products in a bathroom setting or being used on skin. But for a brand that’s more active or outdoors, like a camping company, you may want to curate content that fits the rugged lifestyle of your buyers. 

While UGC isn’t an entirely new trend, its strength of showcasing products in covetable ways makes it a profitable, evergreen trend for businesses to cash in on in the new year. 

5. Instagram Story Updates

Last, but coincidentally the most trendy and new, we have Instagram Story updates. 

As we mentioned in our first trend, video is the king of visual content. And with the rise in popularity of the video sharing app Tik Tok, Instagram will be scrambling to keep on trend and roll out similar features within their Stories feature. 

Early in November, it was announced that Instagram is currently testing a music video feature of their own in Brazil called Reels. Reels allows users to record 15-second video clips set to music of their choice, and then share these videos with friends and followers via Stories. That’s right – a brand new Stories feature that bears a distinct similarity to Tik Tok. 

And that’s not all. We predict a steady rise of augmented-reality filters within Instagram Stories. With so many filters being shared by independent creators as well as Instagram, we don’t see these filters going anywhere in 2020. 

There will be a variety of new ways to share and host content on your Instagram Stories that you won’t want to miss out on, so get your phone cameras out and ready!

So, that’s our prediction of the top 5 trends you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for in 2020! To recap:

  • Expect to switch your phone camera to video more than photo if you want to create viral content
  • Consider going darker with your grid content to stay on theme with dark mode
  • Curate more UGC than you even know what to do with
  • Look out for new video features and lookalike tools from other popular apps popping up on Instagram

What trends are you most excited for? Let us know!