The 22 Biggest Instagram Trends Of 2015

I have a problem: I’m obsessed with Instagram. I scroll through my feed at least 10 times a day, and I feel like I can’t stop scrolling until I’ve seen every.single.picture. I follow way too many bloggers and celebrities. I “like” so many pictures that the word “like” has basically lost all meaning, and I’m even weirdly obsessed with my own page sometimes. So, if there’s anyone who can confidently write about popular Instagram trends of 2015, it is me, friends. Is that something to be proud of? Doubtful, but there it is.

There are some classic Instagram trends that have been around since the app’s beginnings, regardless of the jokes surrounding them: brunch photos, a bejeweled hand holding up an ice cream cone, #ootd pictures of all kinds, pretty shoes on pretty rugs, latte art, and of course, selfies. But then there are the trends that come and go, that stay really popular for a few months and then die out… or that start up and never go away. Whether you loved them or hated them, here are the 22 biggest Instagram trends of 2015:


1. Inflatable Pool Floats

Swan goals.

A photo posted by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

Over the summer, it was literally impossible to scroll through Instagram without spotting someone sitting on or hanging out with a giant, adorable pool float. The most popular option, by far, was the giant swan Taylor Swift is chilling on, and runner ups included donuts, pizza, and of course, flamingos. I wonder just how much money these pool accessories made retailers this year.


2. Colette Miller’s Angel Wings

Angels aren't the only ones with wings #colettemiller

A photo posted by Acio アシオ (@_awceeohh) on

I don’t know anything about this mural except that everyone who saw it in LA was literally obsessed with it. I couldn’t possibly count the amount of images I saw of people standing in front of these wings. I mean, they’re beautiful, but didn’t the same picture get a little boring after a while?


3. Face Masks

Scaring children

A photo posted by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) on

Face masks were especially popular this year, thanks to the terrifying look of sheet masks and the popularity of multi-masking. It became cool for girls to show off one of the best beauty routines ever on Instagram, whether it was a brightly colored mask, a mud mask, a Halloween-worthy sheet mask, or just something DIY.


4. Giant Letter Balloons

Yay for our birthday month | @bettyclicker | #styledbydarling

A photo posted by The Darling Event (@thedarlingevent) on

I missed the memo of when giant gold Mylar balloons became popular, but I definitely did not miss them on Instagram. These balloons were spotted everywhere, whether it was exclusive events and parties celebs were attending, or at someone’s house.


5. Coconuts

Coconut water break at my favorite vegan place. Third time in one week.

A photo posted by Aimee Song (@songofstyle) on

It’s no surprise that pictures of coconuts were everywhere on Instagram this year – coconuts represent a tropical place, probably a vacation or something luxurious and wonderful. There were tons of photos of girls drinking out of coconuts, tan hands holding coconuts up against colorful buildings, and coconuts sitting in the sand posing for their Instagram famous opportunity.


6. The Kylie Jenner Selfie

Kendall's House

A photo posted by King Kylie (@kyliejenner) on


A photo posted by Tylizzle (@tyra_rochecouste) on

Considering Kylie Jenner was one of the biggest celebrities of 2015, it’s not surprising that people were trying to imitate her on social media. The Kylie Jenner selfie includes holding your finger up to your lips (something Kylie probably started to draw more attention to hers) or holding your hand up to your hair. It is best taken in a car while wearing a ton of makeup.


7. Product Flat Lays

A photo posted by birchbox (@birchbox) on

The best way to promote or show off beauty products on Instagram this year was to do a chic, glam, “casual” flat-lay. A product flat lay is essentially just a bunch of beauty products on a table or something, and the picture is taken from above. It’s not that interesting on it’s own, which is why users were adding in other accessories or pretty surfaces to get more likes.


8. Candy Colored Hair


A photo posted by King Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

lips are @doseofcolors Coral Crush

A photo posted by S A M A N T H A RAVNDAHL. (@ssssamanthaa) on

Another trend likely (at least partly) inspired by Kylie Jenner was the candy colored hair. The most popular color appeared to be a teal or blue color, but there was also pink, purple, rainbow, and green. Basically any color you can think of, really.


9. Body Hair Pride

also hello underarm hair is natural and not gross #bodypositivity #bodyhair

A photo posted by genesis (@freakinsassy) on

One of the more empowering Instagram trends this year was the body hair movement. As many women began to reject traditional beauty standards, they stopped shaving or waxing – and even started posting photos of the under in the armpits and on their legs. Pretty awesome!


10. Watches

If I had a dollar for every time I saw a watch photo like this, I would have SO MUCH MONEY.


11. Using Celebrity Photos To Ask For Likes

get our new @kendallandkylie party looks at @Topshop

A photo posted by Kendall Jenner (@kendalljenner) on

I'm gonna drive safe don't worry! Not again!! Trust me Danny

A photo posted by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

You might not be able to see the comments here, but look at the Instagram link for these images, and almost every comment will say one of these things: “L4L” (like for like) “F4F” (follow for follow) “first” (They’ll like your first picture if you like their first picture) or “first line” (they’ll like all the pictures in your first line if you do the same). It’s like, enough with the weird self-promotion!


12. Hiking/Adventuring

I felt like my six year old self again yesterday. #adventuring

A photo posted by Lauren North (@laurennorthmusic) on

Travel has always been a big part of Instagram, and this year, hiking and adventuring became just as popular. Not only was it cool to lay on the beach on an island, it was also cool to hike up a mountain or look at lake longingly. Maybe even cooler!


13. Tea-toxing

@fittea , gym then VS fashion show tonight #FitTea

A photo posted by Mahlagha (@mahlaghajaberi) on

Celebrities, bloggers, and fitness models alike were spotted promoting “Fit Tea” and similar products all over Instagram this year. Tea-toxing is basically a tea that is supposed to cleanse you, but all I think whenever I see yet another unlabeled ad for it is “How much money does this company make that it can afford to pay this many people to post a picture with it’s product?”


14. Hoverboards

Adapt or die. Your age has nothing to do with it! #BobProctor #HoverBoard #Adapt

A photo posted by Bob Proctor (@proctorgallagher) on

I mean… why not, I guess.


15. Waist Trainers

Thanks to the influence of the Kardashians, waist trainer pictures were everywhere, despite the fact that they don’t work and aren’t even safe. Go figure.


16. Using A Bunch of Images To Create One Big One (vanessa hudgens)

Celebrities (like Justin Bieber and Vanessa Hudgens above) and brands started to try this trend of posting a bunch of different images at the same time that make up one whole image on the user’s Instagram page. While this looks cool in the moment on their page, it kind of sucks overall. Not only do you have to scroll through, like, 10 pictures that don’t make sense on their own, but once you post other things, the image gets messed up (as you can see).


17. Snapchat Photos/Videos

Come through hrush!!!! @styledbyhrush

A video posted by King Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

Snapchat was clearly super popular this year, and it even extended to Instagram. Celebs and regular people alike were posting their Snapchat selfies and videos that were too good to only live on for 24 hours.


18. Funny Tumblr Images/Memes

Same. #relationshipgoals #moodaf #me #caseofthemondays

A photo posted by Jessica Booth (@jboothyy) on

every time

A photo posted by Bustle (@bustle) on

This past year, Instagram became more and more like Tumblr. “Regular people” (like myself) have been posting funny memes and images from Tumblr or the Internet in general instead of just leaving that to parody accounts. Even brands (like Gurl and Bustle and Buzzfeed) started relying more on these funny images than actual content.


19. Tagging Your Friends In Photos You Want Them To See

Tagging friends in the comments of pictures you want them to see was popular before 2015 too, but it REALLY became a thing this past year. Now you literally can’t go through any popular image without seeing comments of people tagging their friends. It’s fun!


20. This Glowing Teeth Whitening Kit

I don’t even know what this glowing teeth whitener device is, but OMG everyone on Instagram seems to have one. Does it really work? It must, right? Otherwise how could this company possibly pay for this many ads?


21. Couples Trying To Be Alexis and Jay

Foot grab for a good time

A photo posted by @r_jpg on

If you don’t know who Jay and Alexis are, then… I’m jealous. This “Instagram famous” couple consists of two beautiful models who do nothing but travel the world together. Their feeds include many photos of them making out, rolling around on the beach, or “adventuring.” They almost always include corny captions like this one as well. There are way too many Jay and Alexis wannabes out there, and I don’t know why because I don’t even know why Jay and Alexis are famous.


22. Smoothie Bowls

To conclude this giant list, here are some smoothie bowls, which gained lots of attention on Instagram and left me wondering why there are so many people out there who have the time to put this kind of dedication into a smoothie bowl.

Which of these trends is your favorite? Which one do you hate? What trend did we forget? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Jessica Booth, on Twitter or Instagram.


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