How the Instagram Audience Will Change in 2021

Rebecca Willis

Rebecca Willis is an HR manager, personal trainee in management, freelance writer and an active guest contributor.

As you might have already noticed, Instagram is currently undergoing significant transformations to keep up with modernity, to follow the new trends, and to stay on the top of the popular social media platforms. From the sharing photographs app to the powerful social network, it has radically transformed since the first launch in October 2010. 

So, in the article, we would like to describe 7 core trends that will definitely have a strong influence on the changes in the audience’s behavior. 

Instagram Reels Feature

First of all, let’s figure out what is the main purpose of that feature. Much like TikTok, the Instagram Reels feature provides a content format that allows users to create and share 15-second videos with the audience in a new dedicated Feed on the Explore page. It’s Facebook’s attempt to compete with TikTok, which is also aimed at short-form video creation and is incredibly popular among Gen Z.

The first wave of popularity of the short videos for the audience was presented by the Vine app in 2013 and along with the appearance of TikTok at the end of 2016, video content creating has become a worldwide trend. Thus, to keep up with the times, in August 2016 Instagram has presented the reels feature, which allows us to record and edit the multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and creative tools.

Of course, Instagram has presented this feature to drive more young people to the platform. Besides, in contrast to TikTok, Instagram presents reels as the new component inside the overarching Instagram ecosystem. Thanks to its great variety of functions, the Instagram app will be still on the top as one of the most popular social networks.  

Attention to World Problems

Unlike other apps, Instagram has a huge community of influencers and brands who draw people’s attention to the major global problems. Content diversity allows users to have more trust in the content published, for instance, most brands are now promoting their products along with discussing the basis of the recycling and zero-waste trends. Society has become more and more conscious about its future, so now it is essential to present not only the trendy posts but also the informative ones, which can change our world for the better. 

Thanks to the popularity of Instagram all over the world it is much easier to catch young people’s attention, as social networks are the most widespread mass media they do use in their everyday routine. That is believed to speed up the process of global problems’ solutions as well as prevent the new serious issues to appear.

Stories Over Posts

Since launched in August 2016, Instagram stories have had a significant effect on the further development of this social network. Currently, IG stories are viewed by over 600 million people every day and their popularity would only increase in the coming year. There are lots of reasons why people use stories. For instance, clients get to know someone or his/her business better, people also are able to show their punchlines to the audience or even highlight the product and grow brand awareness. It takes a while to scroll the stories instead of reading the entire post, so there is no wonder that now people prefer to spend less time for more information. Besides, via the stories, it is much easier to get new information about somebody or something, that is why users become closer to each other and have the impression of being a member of a community. 

In any person’s opinion, it is much easier to create a temporary story instead of posting a new photo or video. The reason for that is mostly because of the lack of free time, and, while making a temporary shot you will both share the information with your followers and don’t waste the eternity thinking over the time, the look, and location of it. That is why, experts believe that in the nearest future the number of Instagram stories, as well as their popularity, will become even more popular than now.  

The Popularity of Augmented Reality Story Filters

Augmented reality (AR) filters are computer-generated effects layered over the real-life image your camera displays. In Instagram Stories, an AR filter alters the image your front or back camera displays.

We can’t neglect the fact that in the following decade AR/VR technologies will cause huge changes in social network development. Because of their interactivity and unusual nature, AR story filters are definitely at the peak of their popularity. Nowadays we can observe the large tendency of including AR features in different aspects of our life, including social networks. For instance, some brands of the beauty sphere have already made different make-up filters for the users in order to make their product more popular and widen the number of consumers. 

AR filters’ popularity on Instagram is caused by plenty of reasons. First of all, it will increase brand or product awareness and at the same time it will show off the brand’s personality. Secondly, the AR filters creation allows for the brand, person, or product to be ahead of the curve. Also, it will make a great connection with the audience, which is really important for any social network.

The Popularity of the Explore Tab

It is not a big secret that the Explore tab is also the key feature of Instagram. Over 200 million users use the Explore grid every day in a search for interesting information and accounts. By browsing the different pictures, people grab a piece of inspiration, find some new ideas, share their minds with other users, form new communities, and meet like-minded people. 

Because of these main reasons for the popularity of the IG Explore tab, it is expected that the quality of the content posted and presented on this tab will be much higher in 2021. As you might have noticed, the IG social network has changed a lot in recent 5 years. It is now not enough to post a picture with emoji, the quantity of informative and interesting posts rises day by day, so the users become pickier and pickier. These factors have a positive influence on the development of this IG feature. 

Shopping Directly on the Platform

Communication is not the only purpose why people use Instagram. E-commerce platforms have already become an irregular part of modern life. For instance, the most popular platform Shopify powers over 1 million businesses worldwide. Up to the present, a lot of platforms have already created their own Shopify alternatives to keep up with the trends. 

The reason for that was the desire of users to make purchases without leaving the platform, that is why now we have a booming of business on IG. Instagram e-commerce has allowed the brands to sell their products while presenting it to the audience, so it is much more comfortable for the users to learn about the peculiarities of the items and make a purchase at one click. 

Audio in Instagram Stories 

When it comes to video browsing, 60% of people watch IG stories with the sound on. A lot of content posted in stories has informative speeches on different topics, which draws followers’ attention. People share their everyday routine, post recommendations, and useful tips, that is the main advantage of the live temporary stories in comparison with the static posts. That might be also caused by a booming rise of the TikTok videos so that to stay on the top, IG has also included this feature into its app. Now it’s not necessary to type in the information you want to share with others as you can easily make that in one click. 

In addition, the sound-on browsing ads with the right audio show better results in the e-commerce aspect, that is why lots of brands are now attaching different video clips, presenting the core features of their products to the audience. Thus, both sides are in favor: consumers can make a purchase while watching videos, and brands can widen the number of buyers. 


All in all, we can notice that during the next decade the Instagram audience will change a lot. The users become pickier in the content they want to browse, which consequently influences the quality of the posts, stories, and reels posted there. The e-commerce will also make significant changes to the Instagram audience, thus, there will be more customers who use this app for making a purchase. The AR reality will enrich the diversity of the content, as it is a new technology that hasn’t been explored that much yet. IT-experts believe that it will be used not only for the stories shooting but also for e-commerce, communication, etc. Finally, thanks for drawing attention to the world’s biggest problems, we might make society think about the future in order to prevent the global problems caused by our irresponsibility. 

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