As the widely accepted definition suggests, the trend is “a general direction in which something is developing or changing”. If we analyze the meaning of the word “trend”, just a little bit further, we’ll come to the conclusion that this kind of development is not necessarily a matter of growth, evolution or maturity. It’s more about spreading.
When something is called trendy, we already know that something is hyped, meaning popular in the sense of style, at a certain period in time. The trend is, then, more publicity, fashion, and marketing affair than an overall tendency toward change itself.
In the realm of social media, when something becomes a trend, it means that many posts, photos, or videos on the platforms, will be dedicated to this topic. Instagram is probably the trendiest of them all. Starting something new, which will be accepted by many and end up on the top of the Explore or Hashtag page, is not easier than buying Instagram followers https://howsociable.com/buy-instagram-followers/. Some work has to be done, but at the end of the day, trendsetters are probably very proud of themselves.
Trending on Instagram can be a product of share luck, but according to experts, there are tips or rules that an ambitious creator should follow in order to start a new fashion. Generally, high-quality content, carefully composed to catch the attention of the audience with its esthetic, should be a good start. If the topic is interesting and authentic enough to provoke the reaction, the next step would be to choose a good hashtag. These little helpers can do wonders, in the sense of visibility and audience targeting. Additional effort to create relevantly popular or unique hashtags will be rewarded with an increased engagement rate. For those not skilled enough, few very good hashtag generator tools are already available on the market. Finally, timing, tagging locations, and working with other influencers are equally important, and should not be neglected during the trend pursuit.
Now that we know what is crucial for trending, it would be interesting to examine how were Instagram trends changing in the last decade.
The period from 2010 to 2020 transformed the way we see the world and ourselves almost fundamentally. Technology and digitalization can be “blamed” for this as well. Smartphones and platforms connected us tightly, into one large mass called the global audience. As we are so grouped and our attention is focused on the content services, it was an ideal situation for innovations, changes, and even new social movements. Although some of them came as positive, we witnessed more than one situation in which these perfect conditions to create something good mutated with the not so right outcome, socially, culturally, or even morally speaking.
Social media were probably the biggest trend in the last decade, especially Instagram. Launched in 2010, it evolved from a selfie sharing platform to a serious brand. Ten years ago, companies and influencers were almost nonexistent. It was a place reserved for amateur photos of faces and tables with meals and drinks. Nowadays, you can hardly come across a respectable brand, especially in the fashion and beauty industry, without a profile. Rule number one, if you want to be visible on Instagram, is a high-quality photo. Filters, apps, and other Instagram-only options can make posting more exciting and funny. At the same time, they can give the follower a sense of belonging to a big, happy family. Companies are able to directly communicate with their customers and nourish their relationship with giveaways, discounts, and similar tactics.
Instagramers went through some changes, as well. In the beginning, it was all about perfection, unrealistic lives, and photos of expensive items, houses, cars, and luxury holidays. At some point, followers obviously got fed up with too much flawlessness, which created the right moment for the rise of the relatable influencers. Tired moms and people with health issues and disorders attracted followers with similar problems, who needed to know that they are not alone.
Social activism, such as climate change movements or campaigns dedicated to sexual harassment awareness, is no longer reserved only for the text-oriented platforms. Memes and stickers made it possible for people on Instagram to gather around the same idea or purpose, and to make it trending within hours.
Making trends on Instagram comes with a certain amount of responsibility. The University of Pennsylvania researched the connection between social media and our well-being and published the findings in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. The study was conducted on 143 participants and showed that we need to “reduce opportunities for social comparison”, and generally “put our phones down” and live our lives.
Analyzing how Instagram’s body standards changed during the last ten years, should make us puzzled enough to wonder what is wrong with some trends. In 2013, it was the thigh gap trend, which demanded legs to be so thin to not touch above knees. Next year, the bikini bridge emerged, and women were trying to be skinny enough to make the space between hip bones in the abdomen area visible. After that, endless, exhausting workouts in order to get a thin yet muscular body took over the trending. The year 2015 was all about hashtag “strong not skinny”, healthy eating habits obsession, fitness gurus, and photos of perfectly shaped bodies. In the following years, we’ve had a thick fit, ribcage bragging, and thick slim trends.
Looking at the perfectly edited photos can be harmless if you can keep in mind, at all times, that they are not real. It might sound strange but, otherwise, it can cause serious damage to our self-esteem and eventually become a source of depression and loneliness. So, be smart with trends, if you want to participate in the game, do it wisely.