With more than one billion active months users, Instagram’s ability to create and carry trends is huge. While some are fleeting, others make a serious impact. Flatlays for example, popularised on the app, are bigger than ever and have rippled out into editorial and advertising. Influencers are often responsible for sparking these trends. They’re early adopters with huge followings, constantly seeking new ways to keep their audience engaged. So if you want to know what’s hot on Insta – look no further than the influencer community.

1. Influencers mean business

We’re seeing a real upsurge of influencers converting to a business account. Many had been previously reluctant to make the switch, fearing getting lost in the algorithm and reduced engagement. Now it seems the benefits of extra data insight have outweighed the concerns. This trend aligns with client demands too. Many brands now insist their collaborators have a business account. Benefits include comprehensive analytics, better discoverability and the ‘swipe up’ feature in Stories. This professional approach is a step towards a more transparent and measurable influencer marketing practice.

2. Styled Stories

With more than 400 million people watching Instagram Stories every day, it’s been one of the apps most popular updates. So much so that influencers are now shifting their focus from the feed to their Stories. We’re seeing a lot more creative executions and thoughtful styling and apps designed purely to assist in this process are launching. Unfold is a popular choice, allowing users to up their game with stylish templates. It’s not surprising then that influencers are also carefully organising their highlights into categories, so their carefully curated Stories don’t disappear forever.

3. Mindful breaks

Instagram has received its fair share of criticism for its effect on young peoples health in recent years. It’s been linked to everything from low self-esteem to depression. It seems that influencers – who arguably spend the most time on the app – are in need of a break too. They’re taking mini digital detoxes, scheduled and deliberate time away from the app. It’s part of a much wider mindfulness trend and something Instagram and Facebook themselves have been investing in, with their ‘Time Well Spent’ initiative. Knowing how important it is to maintain a connection with their followers, these breaks are often pre-warned and thoughtfully explained.

4. Conscious living

From beach cleans, recycling, meat-free Mondays and zero waste, the number of influencers advocating for conservationism on Instagram is rising. Their combination of creative photography and knack for digital storytelling has helped give the movement a human face. Wildlife conservation influencer @bee.elle.wildlife said, “With social media, the accessibility of these touch points and the swiftness with which you can engage with communities has multiplied significantly, and with greater connectivity and the sharing of ideas, it can help to catalyse change.” As an individual, the intangible and insurmountable task of ‘saving the planet’ can be overwhelming. Social media influencers make the environmental action part of an attainable lifestyle.

5. Insta famous pets

Believe it or not, pets are becoming one of the biggest emerging groups on the influencer scene – and making some serious money in the process. Thanks to Instagram, people can connect with like-minded pet enthusiasts from around the world. Accounts made purely to share the pictures and anecdotes of furry friends are hugely popular. Animal pictures rack up the likes and the hashtag #CatsOfInstagram currently stands at 88.8m posts. 
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