How Instagram’s #Trendingformats is keeping brands busy and consumers amused

What is special about these formats is the fact that users don’t look at them as intrusive but willingly engage with them

e4m by Shikha Paliwal
Updated: Oct 25, 2019 11:48 AM



Instagram is a busy world; users are swiping, tapping, sharing, shopping every minute of every day. It is also a perfect platform for brands to engage with the audience, not only through the routine advertising route but also through the language of social media users. #Trendingformats is a word most Instagrammers are now pretty familiar with. What is special about these formats is the fact that users don’t look at them as intrusive but willingly engage with them. These formats are packed with quirky, creative prowess that both impress and humour consumers.

Brands leverage the creative freedom that Instagram allows as compared to others that demand a more formal strategy says Akshay Popawala, Co-founder and Director of Digital Communication/Strategy, Togglehead. “Instagram has become a treasure trove of inspiration of all kinds. From travel and fashion to marketing and finance, it has something for everyone out there! We’ve seen a couple of trends spread like wildfire recently such as tag icons, arrow posts, tap posts, seamless carousels, and 3D Instagram posts. There are multiple reasons for this trend-stickiness of the platform, right from the amount of time people spend scrolling through their feed to the kind of features Instagram offers,” says Popawala.

Echoing a similar sentiment, Vinesh Nandikol, Head – Digital, FCB Ulka Mumbai, explains how today, having an online presence is all about leveraging every attribute within the platform and utilising it to the maximum level. “The merit in creating formats out of platform-specific features lies in the innovative use of what others look at as ‘plain’ features. For a user, the brand creates excitement and connections by transforming a basic feature or icon from their daily-use social media into quirky, relatable formats that speak the user language. Users, too, are always looking forward to connecting with brands that create something fresh, relatable and new every time,” he shares.

Although the list of #Trendingformats is long and distinguished, we put together some of them that have been lapped up by brands over the last few months:




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#Relatable #CreativeSpot #TrendingFormat #TagIcons #magicbricks #homes #realestate #property #homesweethome

A post shared by Magicbricks Official (@magicbricksdotcom) on



Industry experts are unanimous in their view that Instagram indeed is one of the best places for brands to showcase their creativity. The only challenge, Mihir Karkare, EVP of Mirum India, sees is the need for brands to constantly keep an eye on trending formats which does put some pressure on them.

He explains, “The flipside is that huge amount of content gets generated every day and it’s a struggle to get noticed in this clutter. The brands too are in the same boat. The trending formats on Instagram like #5Steps, #JustLikeThat, #TapPost allow brands to experiment with their content and do something creative. The audience on Instagram is young and savvy who appreciate smart content. These formats allow brands to stay relevant to the Instagram audience by putting out communication in a style that excites them. This has put a reverse pressure on brands to always keep a lookout for any new breaking trends to get the first-mover advantage.”

However, he believes that today, the audience on social platforms love brands who break the communication mould and push the envelope. And if any brand hasn’t yet done it, they are missing out on the action.

According to Vikas Chawla, Co-founder,, as the trendsetters of these formats would call it, these trends are what make "advertising fun for the advertisers".

“It gives them an edge over other brands if they catch the trend early on. And, if we were to view this from the eyes of the customer, they are in awe of the sheer extent of creativity, laced with fresh and relatable humour,” Chawla says.

“In addition to this, Instagram as a platform has great potential in terms of creativity. In recent days, we have witnessed a large spectrum of 'out of the box' trends like Smart Chakra, #ThisPerson and #CloserFriend that brands and agencies are leveraging,” he adds.

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