The Dot Academy

New Instagram features and social media trends for 2022

What’s happening in the social media landscape? Main platforms are competing to get the highest daily active users rates, through continuous optimizations. We’ve listed Instagrams main new features as well as the most significant social media trends for 2022. And most importantly some practical tips on how to maximize the impact of these trends for your brand.

Hereby a brief recap of Instagram’s main new features:

Professional dashboard

The days have passed that the data you could analyze in the Instagram platform was quite limited. With the new update, users can track performance more in-depth. It provides a deep dive into how businesses interact with their followers, insights into what time your audiences are mostly online. This way your business will be able to grow even more rapidly if you analyse the data on a weekly basis. Definitely a social media trends to keep an eye on. 

In the insights section, users can examine analytics for Reels and Instagram live too. 

Live rooms 

Going live on Instagram has never been so sociable. Now that Instagram has rolled out the new Live Rooms feature, you can live stream with four people at once. With Instagram Live Rooms, Instagram hopes to offer its users even more creative options: from catching up with your friends to hosting a talk show.

Remix Reels

This feature will allow users to recreate or respond to existing reels.

Stories caption stickers

To make stories more accessible for deaf users or users who browse with their sounds off, you can convert audio to text with this new feature. This will for sure be a huge win for content creators who used to do it all manually.

Algorithm changes

The algorithm has changed a lot over the past few years. Before your feed was filtered chronologically, then it was based on engagement. In 2022, users will be able to choose their favourites whose posts they want to see more frequently in their feeds. 

It prioritizes fun, engaging video, and does not optimize for content that was used on other platforms, like a TikTok video which is later posted on Instagram as a Reels. 

Some basic rules of thumb to optimize your score in the Instagram algorithm:

  • Post reels often
  • use fewer hashtags
  • prioritize video & shopping

Last year businesses or users first needed 10k followers in order to use links in their stories. From now on, users can add links to their stories no matter the number of followers they have. So yes you guys, the swipe-up has officially disappeared.

Main social media trends for 2022

The rise of short-form video

Instagram originally being a photo-sharing app, is now focusing more on video. With their introduction of Reels, IGTV and In-Feed Videos, they made it possible to make it a seamless video experience. They are shifting towards video because: “ Video is driving an immense amount of growth online, video is stronger and more attention-grabbing and thus strong videos will be favoured within the algorithm.” shared the Head of Instagram.

Social media ad spending is forecast to reach €177 billion, which is way more than TV advertising, it is important to focus on buzzy short-form platforms to entertain consumers. With Instagram Reels or with TikTok it is easier to amuse potential customers with short-form videos. 

Practical tips? 

  • Create TikToks or Reels and showcase your products, behind the scenes, tutorials on how to use your products, etc. and use trending audio to keep it relevant to your audience. 
  • Get in touch with creators and micro-influencers to create video content for you. This will help you reach new audiences and brand credibility.
Gen Z

Generation Z or Zoomers, are the customers of the future. We must not exclude these consumers from our social campaigns so that they can already become fans of a brand. They are the first group of consumers that are a mobile-first generation and respond very well to video content. They are the reason why video content became so popular. That’s why brands need to change how they approach them with their marketing strategies. Gen Z is the leading generation who spends most of their time on TikTok. 

If your brand is not yet ready to appeal to the Gen Z audience but is ready for the first steps towards this, start using TikTok and showcase a more fun and creative side of your business. Brands could also try partnering with Gen Z influencers or creators to show how they would use your products.

Social commerce

The combination of e-commerce and social media has changed the way people shop. The convenience of shopping via social media platforms is a way to keep users on the platform longer and generate more revenue. People will use social media to window shop and turn followers into customers. 

Augmented reality and Virtual reality technologies are looking for creative ways to create a seamless virtual shopping experience for customers like virtual try-on solutions or different filters to apply makeup to your face.

Seek for humanization 

Brands are blurring the line between digital and real life. They want to promote transparency and create a brand relationship with their customers. Customers want to know that what they see is what they get. This way they will understand their voice online and company values which can impact their audience. Customers are seeking a connection between themselves and the brand. They’ll engage more with content that tells more about the person behind the brand. 

Practical tips? 

  • Host workshops with Instagram live or a Q&A session where the audience can get to know more about you and the brand. 
  • Respond to Instagram DM’s to build a relationship and trust between a brand and a follower.

Check out our blogpost about digital trends for 2022

This post is also available in: Dutch