From goblincore to social justice

In order to remain relevant, Instagram also has to fight for young users, creators and advertisers. Instagram’s Predictive Trends Report 2022 seems to be an attempt to show companies and marketers the most important changes on the platform. Since Gen Z in particular should be prevented from migrating completely to Tiktok, the report focuses on precisely this.

From fashion to social justice: the trends at Gen Z

For the report, Instagram surveyed 1,200 teenagers between the ages of 13 and 24 in the United States. But since social media and marketing are influenced by American trends, we can keep an eye on them.

1. Sustainability and social justice remain relevant

The report shows social commitment in many subject areas: For example, a third of those surveyed would like to buy sustainable and plant-based makeup and skincare products, 23 percent said they want to buy second-hand clothing, 24 percent do not want to sell the clothes they no longer need throw it away. 52 percent follow accounts that are dedicated to the topic of social justice, 37 percent will donate more to non-profit organizations. Gen Z is also holistically dedicated to the topic of wellness and mental health – this also includes a sustainable and environmentally friendly home. It doesn’t work without CSR and Purpose – and especially not if Gen Z is your target group.

2. Influencers: inside people are more famous than celebrities

83 percent of those surveyed believe that creators have just as much influence on Instagram as classic celebrities – if not more. A quarter of 13- to 24-year-old respondents agree that micro-influencers with loyal and committed target groups do the most to create new trends. A quarter say that social media influencers are the most important drivers regardless of the number of followers. Instagram concludes that for young people, popularity plays less of a role – but rather the shared interests and relationships.

3. Attention to the world of work: Gen Z is disaffected

Relevant for employer branding: 90 percent of those surveyed think that experience comes from real experiences, less from school books. In fact, the college is on the decline at 66 percent: the costs are far too high, the practical benefits too little. 87 percent criticize the fact that too many people are forced to have multiple jobs in order to stay afloat. 71 percent would prefer a job that makes sense and would rather earn less for it. The pandemic has also made itself felt at Gen Z: 63 percent have set their career goals again. The fashion side hustles also fit into the category: that means that worn clothing is resold.

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4. Social shopping is accepted

27 percent of those surveyed would like to shop on social media. Half of them are already keeping up to date with interesting brands and products via social media. But since Instagram, like most other social media platforms, is constantly implementing features for social commerce, this result does not surprise anyone.

50 percent are also interested in buying virtual-only products in games, such as clothing from well-known brands for avatars.

4. Creative hobbies remain, home workouts are for high earners

In the food, fashion and fashion sectors, it is becoming apparent that many have discovered creative hobbies for themselves and want to stick with them. The respondents expect an increase in cosplay in the gaming sector, many try new recipes or even local molecular cuisine, and 50 percent tend to go for extreme fashion styles such as goblincore or dark academia after two years of athleisure. 25 percent would like to pursue their creative hobbies also because of the positive effects on their mental health.

For the home workouts, Instagram points out that they were most popular with high-earning people, less so among middle-income people and those who do not earn well. This makes sense insofar as space and time must also be available for home workouts. And if you don’t want to plank permanently, at some point you need a bit of equipment that has to be procured.

Marketers can breathe a sigh of relief: memes remain relevant, especially memes about crypto and surreal humor. Overall, those responsible for Instagram see an increase in stop-and-think humor.

You can find the full report and more background information directly on Instagram.

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