Written by: Nancy Grace, Social Media Strategist & Content Manager at iDigic

Instagram is the poster child for social media marketing, quickly catching up with Facebook and also threatening to overtake all other platforms by a landslide.

There’s no denying that imagery is powerful, so a platform that relies almost entirely on imagery and creativity in the visual form is bound to see a massive growth in the upcoming year.

80% of users Instagram users follow one or more brands on Instagram so if you need better visibility, Instagram likes are a good measure of increasing brand popularity on social media.

What will 2018 means for Instagrammers and also the people behind it? Let’s take a look at these eight Instagram predictions:

1. Mobile only

According to experts, Instagram will most likely shut down its desktop website and go app-only. This move makes sense, considering that 90% of people use Instagram on their mobile devices, for the obvious reasons of portability and convenience.

This will also translate to more mobile-friendly advertising on Instagram, to reach maximum marketing potential.

2. Facebook who?

This prediction does seem a little far-fetched, and might not come into full effect by 2018, but the upcoming year will see a very significant shift of choice for brands from Facebook to Instagram.

Apparently, Instagram has driven more sales and traffic for brands than Facebook ads, and thus, a lot of brands who are looking to cut costs might just make a permanent shift.

3. Quality boost

Users will see a significant rise in quality and presentation in both Instagram posts and stories.

While stories are supposed to be more impromptu and personal than posts, people are becoming more and more conscious of the quality of content they are putting up on the platform.

This does create a competition of sorts for brands, who need to make their content more presentable but not lose that personal touch at the same time.

4. DM your queries

DM or Direct Messenger is a chat service that Instagram offers to send text messages, images, videos and even temporary or “disappearing” content that can be viewed in the same format as SnapChat.

In 2018, brands are most likely going to use this feature to collect feedback from consumers in a professional manner, and respond to DMs in the same way they would respond to emails or feedback forms. This would work well for them because the replies would be more personal and instant.

5. Filter on Live

The “Live Video” feature on Instagram went ballistic in 2017, with even celebrities, news channels and award shows going Live to allow users to view events in real-time and also interact with celebrities and receive quick responses.

Now, 2018 would most probably allow users to apply face filters while using Live Video, just to add that bit of a fun element to an already much-loved option.

6. Increased video time

Instagram currently allows videos of up to 60 seconds to be uploaded directly to the app as a post. However, some users have voiced their opinion about how they would love to upload longer videos and not have to post them in part-by-part clips.

Instagram is listening, 2018 will see videos of up to 2 minutes being uploaded.

7. More photo filters

Instagram already offers a pretty neat variety of preset photo filters that users can apply to images and videos before uploading them.

Considering that using filters in still pretty much a booming trend, they might just introduce a whole new range of filters in 2018, pleasing all the active filter-users even more.

8. Communication services

Again, this prediction is a little far-fetched, but considering that Facebook owns Instagram and has pretty much developed the platform in a very similar manner, we might just see better communication tools soon.

What exactly? Audio and video calls. Facebook messenger has had these features for a while now so we might just see Instagram allowing users to call or video chat with each other very soon.

As of 2017, there are 800 million active users on Instagram, and the number is only going to see a rise in the upcoming year. The Instagram craze is definitely here to stay, so 2018 might bring some very exciting changes and modifications to the much-loved platform.

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