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Instagram trends to look out for in 2021

Instagram is awash with trends, some are more positive than others, but thankfully inclusion and diversity is well on the radar for most

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Image: KnowTechie

Like everything in life, Instagram is also subject to trends. Things that you uploaded back in 2008 on the platform would never be uploaded now and remember those terrible captions? 

Thankfully, they can be left there too. If you aren’t sure where Instagram is going in 2021, we’re going to help you along the way. Here are the top trends to look out for and use in 2021 to help you stand out from the crowd.


Obviously, it goes without saying that you need to be uploading content, but don’t just think about the content that you put on your feed. In answer to the up surge in popularity TikTok has seen, Instagram developed Reels

These are short videos, around 30 seconds that can be left on your feed so that people can click through them and watch at their leisure. The uptake on reels is still in the early adopter phase without a lot of businesses and people not capitalising on them just yet, so get ahead of the curve and start playing around with your aesthetic. 

Due to the high-quality editing tools at your disposal, it really is easy to create a professional looking video with just a few clicks, reels really are the next thing in 2021, so why not perfect your look whilst others are still understanding exactly what they are. 


Curation has always been a big deal, especially for influencers and businesses, but it is now time for us, the humble poster, to have a look at our curation and consider ourselves a brand. 

You want your feed to look considered and well thought out. This could mean that you develop your own filter to use across all of your images to give it a matched look when people start scrolling through. A well thought out feed means a lot to people and acts as an anchor to draw them in. 

Don’t go through and delete your old images though! Just start a fresh and play around with how you think you want your feed to look and then start branding everything you upload in the same fashion. This self-branding really makes all the difference as your audience will begin to recognise your content without even seeing your name.

Diversity and Inclusivity

Really, in 2021 we shouldn’t have to be mentioning it, but here we are. Brands, businesses and other ambassadors have been really stepping up their game to make sure that everyone is included, this includes all different bodies, communities and any other characteristics you can think of. 

Another thing brands and ambassadors are doing is adding subtitles to their posts, stories and reels, this makes the content far more inclusive and ensures that everyone can access and engage with it. 

A lot are also adding alt text at the bottom of their posts now, which describes the colour and the lay out of the images. These small changes reduce marginalisation in specific communities, and you should do this too. Whilst this shouldn’t be a trend, because, in reality it should be an omnipresent and a default setting for all of us, to see diversity and inclusivity becoming a staple of Instagram is something that we are really happy to see.  

Buying Engagement

Yes, buying followers and likes is here to stay for another year. This has been around almost as long as Instagram has and shows no signs of slowing up. Expect more subtle types of engagement being used such as influencers buying automatic Instagram likes.

No More Pet Profiles

Have you seen the latest shade being thrown at millennials by Gen Z? Well, if you haven’t the crux of the situation is that they have called millennials out on their cringey behaviour, one of which being ‘why do you have an Instagram page for your pet’. 

It is a very god question, why do we set up these pages? In 2021, lets promise not to do this anymore. Yes your pet is cute, yes we do enjoy seeing them, do they need their own goddamn Instagram? Absolutely not. 

We can all come to a middle ground here and now, millennials can keep their side parting and those skinny jeans, if they promise to leave pet profiles in 2020. This seems fair. 


Instagram is awash with trends, some are more positive than others, but thankfully inclusion and diversity is well on the radar for most, so make sure that you are considering this when you are posting. 

As well as making your content more accessible, get on reels before everyone else realises what it going in, in this case it will pay to be an early adopter rather than a laggard, so get on the bandwagon now and perfect your editing skills, branding and aesthetic. 

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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