2019 Instagram predilections
1. Bots would disappear
Instagram belongs to Facebook and they don't want to let what happened to FB happens to IG. Since September 2018, Instagram did A LOT to clean up the platform from bots, fake likes and fake "influencers". In fact, the big Instagram API deprecation was implemented so that dodgy services selling fake followers would cease to exist. In addition to that, Instagram continues to fight back not only against the automation apps, but also users taking advantage of them. Now, Instagram is removing fake likes and comments from people's accounts, so if you've ever bought fake likes for your photo, expect them to simply disappear. Also, expect to see some Instagram features removed as a form of "punishment" for using bad practices.
In other words, 2018 saw a big clean-up of fakes accounts, fake followers, fake comments, and fake likes, which will remain to be one of the biggest Instagram trends 2019.
If like me, your engagement decreased, chances are that Instagram detected some unreal likes and comments and remove them automatically. If you buy fake followers, Instagram may just block your account if you go above the 10k threshold.
2. Shoppable Instagram will grow more
In 2017, shoppable Instagram posts were just a buzz. In 2018, however, they became a thing, with Instagram allowing not only to Shopify your feed posts but also to use Shoppable Stories stickers. The idea: users can go from inspiration to action with a mere click of a button, and shop directly without leaving the Instagram app. It's a win-win situation for both brands and Instagram - and, of course, shopaholics.
However, according to our annual Instagram 2019 Trends & Benchmarks report, only about 20% of marketers are actively using shoppable posts, with a vast majority admitting they haven't noticed a sales increase from shoppable tags just yet.
Still, shopp-ability remains to be a trending Instagram goal, as over 50% of Instagram marketers plan to use more shoppable posts in 2019.
But that's not it.
In 2019, Instagram will let you shop not only from feed posts and Stories but also from Explore and video posts. And what's more, Instagram will let you have your own "Shopping" collection for easy browsing, too.
So, we predicted a shoppable Instagram standalone app in 2019. Read more here. Prepare all your Facebook catalogues - if you want to sell
3. The rise of Instagram Ads
Since November 2018, my feed is invaded by adverts in a horrible way. I cannot escape them, they follow the same pattern 2 or 3 posts and bang!
With the Instagram algorithm trying to fight bots and cutting reach, investing in Instagram ads has become the way-to-go. Now, there aren't just feed and Stories ads. There are also video ads, carousel ads, and even Instagram Collection ads. According to our findings, 66% of Instagram marketers operate with a budget of anywhere from $100 to $1000 per month, that they spend on ads, boosted posts, and influencer collabs. It's clear that Instagram isn't going to slow down on this, so you better have a budget prepared in 2019!
4. Stories will dominate the Instagram landscape
Stories have been Instagram's smartest invention yet. In fact, they are seeing the fastest growth EVER, even in comparison to Snapchat, Facebook, and other platforms.
In 2019, Stories will become even bigger than that. With Stories ads, shoppable stickers, gifs, filters, templates, and more fun things available, to be missing out on Stories equals committing Instagram suicide. Instagram reward people using daily Stories by increasing their reach!
Instagram is increasingly becoming the social media platform of the "now". I said it last year to one of my client, Instagram will become the image Twitter. It's more immediate than ever, with ephemeral, disappearing, urgency-creating content taking over the permanent feed posts. What does this mean for your professional account and Instagram strategy? It means that you must produce content consistently (remember: high-quality only!) and post at regular intervals.
5. AR Instagram Stories filters
Remember the craze of Pokemon Go? The famous mobile game was the most downloaded and profitable mobile app in 2016 due to its cool augmented reality (AR) technology, which offered an interactive experience of a real-world environment with "augmented" objects (pokemons).
Facebook's F8 conference discussed the focus on augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) quite a lot, which, at first, sounds like a very futuristic premise. The future is closer than we think, though, as, when you think about it, the cute face filters on Instagram Stories have been "augmenting" our lives for at least a year already.
Celebrities like Rihanna, Kylie Jenner, and Will Smith launched their own AR face filters in 2018, which you can only unlock if you follow these celebrities on Instagram (a smart growth move).
Rihanna created her diamond diadem filter, so you can sparkle your selfie and promote her annual Diamond Ball and raise awareness for the singer's charitable foundation.
Kylie Jenner's AR face filters had a somewhat different purpose: to let people find the right lipstick shade from the Kylie Cosmetics lip kit. You can try the lipsticks on by using your Instagram Stories camera, see which one suits you best - and eventually, purchase the product.
Meanwhile, Will Smith's filter is a throwback to his Fresh Prince of Bel-Air days: the filter places a sideways hat on you if you take a selfie - or bombs a graffiti on the background if you flip the camera.
If you're an agency or a brand, you can apply to become the first adopter when AR on Stories becomes big, as it's currently in closed beta. Then, you'll be able to create your own Instagram Stories filters by using using Facebook's AR Studio.
6. More focus on your Instagram bio
Writing up a spot-on description of you = your brand, using more Stories Highlights to tell your story, getting clicks on your website's URL, or, in short - investing time to create a perfect Instagram bio - will become the task of 2019.
Your Instagram profile is where you share who you are, what you do, and why people should follow you. So, needless to say, it is one of THE most important aspects of your Instagram strategy optimisation, and too often overlooked.
Recently, Instagram announced testing different ways of presenting user profiles on Instagram, which aims to not only improve user experience but also get brands more clicks on that Contact button.
7. Creating offline experiences
If you don't have a million-dollar budget, though, you can still create memorable offline experiences. One of the Instagram trends 2019 is to do exactly that.
During your exhibition, take people close to your artwork, it changes the setting and gives people a scale about the artwork.
Like Sève Favre or the example below
8. Vertical video
Back in the day, if you posted a vertical video, people would advise you to turn the camera next time for a video to fit the horizontal frame on YouTube or Facebook.
Things have changed since then.
With Stories, Live, and IGTV gaining in popularity, vertical videos are in the fashion not just on Instagram, but also on Youtube, where you can now upload vertical videos without the black bars on the side. This YouTube update automatically adjusts the video's aspect ratio, in order to suit the screen size on your computer, which is a pretty amazing step forward in user experience.
For Instagram, getting better at video production can help you boost your content performance in 2019. You don't need to be a pro right away - start playing with apps like InShot or Storeo and post your results on Stories. As you get better, incorporate more vertical videos in your feed.
9. The rise of DMs
The Age of DMs is here! Connect with your new followers via a Direct Message. Everybody knows why you may be on LinkedIn (to network and do business), why would Instagram be different?
In 2018, Instagram saw a huge rise of DMs, making it possible to send gifs, voice messages, share Stories or posts, and even do a video chat. Slowly, but steadily, Direct Messages on Instagram is becoming a powerful messaging platform, and many are already seeing it as a great alternative to FB Messenger or WhatsApp.
I use Flume to manage all the DM from my clients accounts; it costs about £14 / month. And, I do type better with my 10 fingers. It's for Mac only.
Or you can do Voice Messages, annoying that you have to wait until people finish and have your headphones.
Or you can prepare already your common "Quick replies"
In fact, there's already a standalone Instagram Messenger app, with (limited) availability for iOS.
So in 2019, we might see Instagram removing DMs from the platform, and offering us a separate messaging app instead - just like Facebook did years ago.
Happy Instagramming! 😀