Presidents, religious communities, charity funds, small businesses and big brands have Instagram accounts today.

In 2021, Instagram is not just another social media platform but a serious space for an open discussion of important issues, from mental health to environmental disasters. How does all this influence Instagram, and which trends will be relevant to it in 2021?

We have listed 11 main Instagram trends for 2021 so that you can navigate through the mass of updates, adjust your content plan and increase your engagement rate.


In 2020, Instagram launched the "Guide" feature, thanks to which you can now create step-by-step instructions and collections.

Instagram guide is your older posts compilation or long article that brings together related publications, places, or products.

With Guides, you can bring together several posts of a similar topic and idea, make products or places compilation, such as gift guides, cities or places worth visiting, products worth trying, and more.

For brands and businesses, it’s great that Guides let unite whole packs of products or posts dedicated to one similar topic or purpose.

To create a guide, click on the plus sign, then "Guide", select the type of guide and add the necessary items.

The instruction will appear in a separate tab with a book icon. Posts from the section can be sent as a personal message and published in the story.

Vertical Videos and Videos in General

If earlier Instagram used to be a platform exclusively for photos, today there are more and more Instagram visual trends related to videos.

At first, Instagram simply allowed to publish regular feed videos, then switched on the IGTV format, and in 2020, the Reels became available for most countries - short vertical videos, like on TikTok. So Instagram does everything to push users to shoot videos, and Reels is the new trend.

Users can record 15-second videos and edit them with effects, sounds, captions and other tools.

The Reels feature is not yet available in countries where Instagram does not have music rights, but in 2021 it will gradually appear in the application in a separate tab.

The story format was originally invented so that users could add everything they want to share as at-the-moment content. In 2021, it finally began to be used to its fullest.

Popular influencers share every step they take and any action they do to their stories, and for many, the post in the feed has already become an obsolete format.

Stories can be added without any content plan, any edit and completely spontaneously.

Tip: Qoob Stories app can easily save any story or Highlight of users on your PC and allows you to watch Insta stories anonymously.

Subtitles and Captions on Videos

42% of users visit Instagram several times a day. This often happens at work, on the way to work with no headphones on or in another public place where it is inconvenient to turn the sound on.

For users who watch the video in a quiet mode, it is worth writing down the main thoughts right in your video.

It is not necessary to write down everything you say; just some insightful and important takes are enough.

Users already know that a story can be paused by clicking and carefully examining everything they see on the screen. When there is text on the screen, the user hovers over the story longer. The Instagram algorithm detects it, thinks that your story is interesting for a user and promotes your stories to the top of the list, as the most entertaining ones.

Minimalistic Feed Design

This social media trend became relevant back in 2019 and strengthened its position in 2021 as well; minimalistic photos remain at the peak of their popularity. People love lightness in everything, including video and photo content.

To save Instagram photos and videos with ease on your PC or Mac, use the Qoob Stories app for free.

No-Edit Photos

2021 is the year of a complete rejection of vibrant presets with vibrant colours. Well-known influencers have completely moved away from editing all photos in the same style by presets with oversaturated colours because they greatly distort the original shades of the photo.

What is now needed is good light and minimal processing with minor adjustments in editing settings.

Instagram visual trends for 2021 - naturalness, simplicity, and subtle edit or no edit at all.

People are tired of watching the retouched polished world; they want more authenticity, both in stories and visual aesthetics. Original colours and natural light shots are encouraged.

Quality Over Quantity

The quality of the content you post is important more than ever. Due to high competitiveness among influencers and brands, the audience gets accustomed to high-quality photos, even if they have minimal edits.

Big budgets for filming content for a month of posting from major brands is no longer an out of the ordinary event. Making eye-catching content is getting harder and harder.

If you don’t have big sums of money on Instagram, follow this rule: fewer but better. Focus on stories rather than feed posts instead.


While it is expensive to create top-notch quality content, Instagram reach is becoming more expensive too. User-generated content is what you should focus on.

British brand River Island knows everything about UGC on Instagram

Just a few advantages of UGC on an Instagram page:

  1. People talk for the brand.
  2. UGC is free.
  3. UGC provides you with free extra reach and sales.
  4. Users love the feeling of community, so making content wearing/using/having your brand is becoming trendy among them.
  5. UGC gives you good reviews and testimonials.
  6. You get feedback for improvement.
  7. Your audience is growing.
  8. You easily interact with your clients.


Why would you need carousels?

They're efficient. The carousel creates additional value for the content in the eyes of the audience through visualisation, a step-by-step guide or a lengthy caption on images.

Oreo publishes lots of carousels on Insta

A carousel post gives more information or appealing aesthetics, and its usefulness grows. The more time a user spends on reading or looking at your carousel post, the more reach you gain since Instagram algorithms think your post is interesting and worth promoting.

Moreover, carousels still stand out. A rare brand has adopted a carousel and post it regularly. In 2021, brand feeds will clearly be filled with carousels.

Transparency and Honesty

The perfect polished Instagram life is nothing but annoying. People are tired of unreal photographs, fake achievements, and plastic success. Instagram trends for 2021, among others, are authenticity and honesty.

How to apply this to your profile?

Do less:

  • Staged professional photos and retouching (even if you’re a brand and especially if you’re an influencer).
  • Hidden advertising (always warn your audience that these are advertisements with an #ad tag).
  • Dry and lengthy expert articles.

Do more:

  • Honest stories of failures on the way to success.
  • Open advertising.
  • Photos without harsh edit.
  • Live streams without AR masks.
  • Emotional and honest posts and stories.

AR Filters

No, they aren’t going anywhere. In fact, more and more users want to try making their own AR effect, so the trend is growing.

It is definitely worth buying them from professional AR creators or trying to create them yourself. Masks help promote your brand and get user-generated content.