3 Social Media Trends That Have Faded

3 Social Media Trends That Have Faded

3 Social Media Trends That Have Faded

The fun of social media (and sometimes the pain) is how fast it moves and evolves. Social media trends that your audience loves and gives you great engagement on Monday may feel outdated a month, a week, or even a day later. Staying on top of trends, and especially knowing when one is over, is part of the job.

We’re feeling a little nostalgic and decided to do a quick rundown on three of the most well-loved social media trends that have come and gone over the years.


Long-time Twitter users will all remember the days of #FollowFriday or #ff. This trend, coined by Micah Baldwin, was incredibly simple. Every Friday, tag a user you think is worth a follow to help create community and build networks on Twitter.

The value of this trend was quickly snatched up by organizations and companies for their own purposes. It often led to a wider reach for tweets and a boost in followers. Eventually, this hashtag got bogged down by marketing spam and the benefits to individual users were largely lost.

This trend has somewhat been replaced by tweets saying “respond to this tweet with someone we should follow if we want to learn about social media” and the like. This creates an easy-to-follow thread of users in a specific area of interest to check out.

Twitter users will keep finding ways to boost accounts that create value, but the magic of #FollowFriday is definitely in the past.

Follow Fridays Tweet

IG Profile Grid

For every social media platform, evolving to keep up with audiences and competitors is a part of the industry. So, it’s no surprise that Instagram is no longer the place where we share photos with friends and is moving more and more towards video and e-commerce.

But back in the day when we spent all our time crafting perfect in-feed images, there was one trend that had a special place in the feed: cultivating the perfect profile grid.

Creating a border around individual images prevented photos from being cropped incorrectly in the feed and produced a cohesive look when followers viewed profile grids. The second evolution of this social media trend led to images being cropped into sections so that you couldn’t view the full picture without going to a profile to see all the cropped sections together.

Creators used this tactic to draw attention to their images and promote big launches or initiatives on their accounts. This trend, when combined with content that’s valuable and high quality, was great at driving engagement.

Sadly, by the time brands jumped on this social media trend it was largely a vanity trick. Too much time was spent focused on creating the perfect layout without any value behind it for audiences. The lesson to take away from this small piece of social media trend history: curating the perfect grid can’t be a top priority.

Instagram White Borders Example

Fan + Follower Growth

Follower growth was, at one time, a major marker of success on social media. If you were steadily growing your audience you could be sure that you were doing something right.

So, what’s changed? When it comes to followers… everything.

There are two major issues when it comes to tracking followers as a temperature check for the health of your social media accounts.

  1. Followers are often fake: between bots and bought followers, it’s likely that spikes in follower count don’t equate to genuine audience growth.
  2. Reaching audiences is the new challenge: depending on the platform, you’re only going to reach 2-5% of existing followers with your organic content.

Ergo, singularly focusing on increasing your fan or follower growth isn’t the social media trend it used to be. Content has to clearly provide value so that the 2-5% who are delivered your posts feel the need to connect with it. 

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Bonus Prediction: Clubhouse

This last trend isn’t a social media trend of the past. Rather, it’s a trend we’re predicting will end up being in our history in a bigger way than the future.

Clubhouse has had a major moment in the last year and has even managed to create a lasting impact on other platforms in the industry. That being said, its place as a social media trend in the future is tenuous. Read more about our Clubhouse prediction.

Social media trends come and go. Staying on top of them ensures your brand can activate fresh, exciting content at the right moment and pivot strategies when trends lose their impact. 

If you need help making sure you’re on top of the right social media trends, contact our team or subscribe to our newsletter, Social You Should Know.

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