Unpacking the Instagram 2022 Trend Report

Instagram-Trends-Report

We’re still in the first quarter of 2022, which means predicting this year’s top trends is a hot topic across all industries. From retail and manufacturers to social media companies and everybody in between, identifying what will be popular in the 12 months to come is an important part of creating a strategy for the year.

For promotional products businesses, that can be a bit of a tricky task. Promo professionals aren’t usually specific to one industry – we help brands and organizations across all industries market to their customers and prospects, so to nail down the year’s coming trends, you really have to take a broad approach.

That’s where the 2022 Instagram Trend Report comes in! If marketing to Generation Z is important to your customers (which it should be, these youngsters make up a huge portion of consumers! More on that here), then this trend report is a great place to start.

For this report, Instagram’s researchers sought to create a guide to the up-and-coming next-gen trends that will shape our culture this year. This report covers ten major trend areas: fashion & beauty, shopping, music & dance, celebrities & creators, career & education, food, wellness, gaming, memes, and social justice. That’s a lot to cover, so in this blog, we will hit the major highlights of each topic to give you a general idea of what trends to watch for this year.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the 2022 Instagram Trend Report, which you can view in full here.

Fashion & Beauty

Dark academia is ultra popular on fashion inspiration sites like Pinterest and Instagram.

Fashion is an important part of how people express themselves. With the pandemic finally fading into the rearview mirror (for real this time?), expect to see an increase in unique and alternative fashion. The “dark academia” aesthetic and nostalgia-soaked Y2K-inspired styles are expected to be huge this year.

Shopping

Online shopping has been huge for years, and that growth isn’t stopping. Online retailers are now looking to the future – Metaverse Walmart, anyone?

Forever 21 entered the Metaverse with a virtual shopping experience in Roblox in late 2021.
(Courtesy of Virtual Brand Group)

Thrifting and upcycling are also significant trends this year, but with an online twist – 23% of surveyed Gen Zers expect to thrift online via second-hand websites like Poshmark and Depop in 2022.

Music & Dance

Lil Nas X, Conan Gray, and Doja Cat are all artists that gained significant popularity thanks to video content apps like TikTok.

TikTok and Instagram Reels totally changed the way people discover new music. Instagram users are excited to see more visual content created in conjunction with music: think music videos, visual albums, and more. 70% of teens expect to discover new music or artists via social media this year.

Celebrities & Creators

Tefi Pessoa, known online as @hellotefi, is an influencer and content creator turned celebrity.

There’s no getting around it: influencers and online content creators are the new celebrities. 4 out of 5 young people agree that social media personalities have more influence on culture than traditional celebrities like actors and pop superstars.

Career & Education

Attitudes towards work and education are changing. University-level education is expensive, and many Gen Zers have now started to doubt the value of a traditional college experience, instead considering alternative paths. Gen Z is also very altruistic, with 71% saying they’d rather have a meaningful job even if it means making less money.

Food

Are you living in 2022 if you haven’t made a viral recipe you saw online?

Teens and young adults get a bad rap as the Uber Eats/Postmates generation, but the reality is that they love to cook and experiment in the kitchen. In 2022, Instagram predicts that young adults will show interest in trying new things like molecular gastronomy, mixology, local food, and foraging.

Wellness

Wellness is super important to young people, and they’re taking their mental health into their own hands with at-home workouts, guided meditations, and tight-knit communities that build people’s connections through health.

Online yoga and meditation classes caught on during the pandemic and their popularity continues to grow.

Gaming

The pandemic and ensuing lockdowns fueled a huge boom for video games that isn’t expected to stop any time soon. 40% of teens and young adults expect to see more video game trends in 2022, and 1 in 5 expect VR concerts to be even more popular this year.

Memes

Off-kilter meme pages like @afffirmations are huge on Instagram right now.

Believe it or not, memes help people feel in control. Expect to see an increase in absurdist humor in memes and content that capitalizes on the popularity of cryptocurrencies in a funny, ironic way.

Social Justice

The most active social media users are online activists. Over half of young people surveyed follow social justice social media accounts. Instagram, TikTok, and other similar platforms have become integral for sharing information on activism over the past few years.

We’ve talked about lots of trends on the #SAGEBlog this year. Read our blogs on color trends, apparel trends, and graphic design fads to get caught up on what’s going to be hot for 2022 and how you can incorporate some of these trends into the promo products you’re sourcing for your customers! Plus, you can even learn about how trends are forecasted here.

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(Marketing Coordinator)

Caitlin is a Marketing Coordinator at SAGE. When she's not writing, she enjoys baking and spending time with her beagle puppy, Piper.

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