Facebook, Facebook, Facebook. Social media chatter is full of talk about this industry giant and the dominant market share that it owns. But Facebook’s 2012 acquisition, Instagram, has quickly gained ground as the next giant in town. As of July 2018, Instagram was the second most popular social networking app in the United States.

instagram second most popular social media

Instagram is unique as it pertains to social media, because it places a central focus on mobile sharing of images. In fact, Instagram was created specifically as a mobile app, meant to be used with smartphones. As adoption of smartphones has reached epic levels, the growth of Instagram is an unsurprising success.

As we look forward to social media strategy for 2019, adjust your specific Instagram approach to account for these emerging trends:

IGTV and Vertical Video

Soon-to-be-gone are the days where videos shot in portrait mode are shunned because they do not fit the aspect ratio of televisions and computer monitors. Vertical videos are becoming more popular in 2018 because of mobile video apps that have become prevalent, such as Snapchat and Instagram. Now, vertical videos are being used on Instagram posts and in Stories.

In 2018, Instagram launched a vertical video application called IGTV. On IGTV, videos can be up to an hour long and give Instagram the opportunity to compete with YouTube in the video space. Video creators on IGTV are still just beginning to dive in and produce new content; in 2019, IGTV can be a space to focus on growing audiences and sharing sneak peek style video content.

Brand experiences

There has been an explosive rise in exhibits that are curated for the sole purpose of providing Instagram opportunities. Venues like the Museum of Ice Cream, the Rosé Mansion, Color Factory, and more are touring the US attracting thousands of Instagram users who are paying for dreamy photo opportunities.

Brands are now using this model to curate brand experiences that offer Insta-worthy photo ops with brand interactions while satisfying company marketing goals.


In 2018, Instagram released new features that allow brands to tag products and give users the option to shop recommended products through a new tab dedicated to shopping. Now, brands can reach shoppers through the shopping feature, by adding links to their Stories, or by tagging their products. The commercial possibilities are continuing to grow for Instagram, creating room for more brand usage in 2019.

Sponsored Stories

400 million people watch Instagram Stories each and every day. Thus, the option to post sponsored content in this area of Instagram can be highly beneficial within marketing. In order to ensure success with Sponsored Stories, keep in mind that people who are watching Instagram Stories are viewing casual content from their friends. A good strategy for testing this medium is to use organic visuals that are not overproduced or heavily filtered.

Story Highlights

Typically, Instagram Stories vanish after 24 hours. This encourages in-the-moment sharing, but can be inconvenient for brands and influencers who use Stories to promote links or products. In 2018, Instagram launched Stories Highlights, allowing users to curate clips and group them permanently on your profile until you choose to delete them.

In the coming months, look for brands and influencers to treat Instagram like a blog, curating a look and feel that presents their products in a way that encourages purchase or adoption. Consider using this tool if you regularly post to Stories about your different products, services, or brand qualities that you’d like followers to access in one place.

The 24K Creative team is a digital marketing agency that specializes in creating in-the-moment experiences for customers. Need help bringing your Instagram strategy into 2019? Contact us below to get started with a free consultation.

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