There are already 25 million companies using Instagram, but that number is likely to grow dramatically in the next few years. This feature will allow anyone to create custom filters, face effects, and other visual elements. Instagram also plans to customize effects offered to users, based on the accounts that they follow. Prediction 3: Your hashtag strategy will be more important than ever In late 2017, Instagram added the option to follow hashtags as well as accounts. Prediction 4: Live video will be king Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last few years, you know that social video is exploding. Over 300 million people watch Instagram Stories every single day. At this point, there’s no question that video needs to be a part of your Instagram strategy, and it’s only going to get more important in the years ahead. Prediction 6: Influencer marketing will become an essential part of your strategy Influencer marketing is very effective with younger users, who make up a growing majority of Instagram users. Don’t expect that one tried-and-true method will work forever. Most importantly, listen to your audience and engage with them often.
But even brands with the strongest Instagram strategy need to be looking ahead. User expectations will evolve with the platform, which means that today’s strategy can’t guarantee results in the future.
To help you stay ahead of the curve, we’ve rounded up some expert-informed predictions for Instagram in 2018 and beyond.
Bonus: Download a free checklist that reveals the exact steps an adventure photographer used to grow from 0 to 110,000 followers on Instagram with no budget and no expensive gear.
Prediction 1: More users of all ages will join Instagram
Instagram has over 800 million monthly active users and is showing no signs of slowing down. Many of those new users belong to Generation Z, so marketers would be wise to get to know this important demographic.
Instagram is also growing in popularity with older adults: there are currently more 45- to 54-year-olds on Instagram than 13- to 17-year-olds.
As Instagram succeeds Facebook to become the new home for brands, it will become an essential part of every company’s social strategy. Regardless of who your customers are, it’s likely that they’ll be on Instagram in the years to come. There are already 25 million companies using Instagram, but that number is likely to grow dramatically in the next few years.
Want to bring your business to Instagram? Here’s everything you need to get started.
Prediction 2: Augmented reality will explode on Instagram
This feature will allow anyone to create custom filters, face effects, and other visual elements. These elements will interact with users and their surroundings in Stories.
Instagram also plans to customize effects offered to users, based on the accounts that they follow. Compared to a platform like Snapchat, this will offer a more tailored experience. Users will be able to try out effects and filters they see on their Stories feed, adding a sharable element.
Interactive content is a growing trend, and AR/VR is going to play a big part in it. By 2020, revenues will likely exceed $162 billion and 135 million people will be users. For Instagram’s Gen Z users, 22 percent of whom are already using geofilters each month, the addition of this familiar feature will be especially welcome.
The possibilities with AR are endless: allow customers to virtually try out a product or service, or get a 360-degree view of a store or event. Companies that capitalize on this emerging technology to create fun, immersive content will reap big benefits.
Prediction 3: Your hashtag strategy will be more important than ever
In late 2017, Instagram added the option to follow hashtags as well as accounts. This change allows users to see more of the content they’re interested in, and curate their feeds by topic. And at the F8 developers’ conference, they announced changes for the “Explore” section, which will soon be grouped by topics.
Topics will be populated by relevant hashtags, making it easy for users to dive deep into niche categories and interests.
Hashtags have always been a valuable tool for boosting the visibility of your posts, and these updates make them even more important. A targeted approach is key: you can’t just max out the 30 hashtag limit and hope for the best. Instead, research the hashtags your target audiences are following,…