Doing it for the ‘gram: 10 Instagram trends that changed how we eat, travel, pose and brag

Unicorn food, #humblebragging, throwbacks and more – the trends the social media site can be blamed (and thanked) for

Throwback photos, unicorn food and inspirational travel are all trends Instagram has propelled into the mainstream over the past 10 years. Instagram / The Rock / @up_side_down_marciana / muradosmann
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As Instagram turns 10, we look at how the global picture platform has changed how we eat, drink, celebrate, pose, inspire and live, by picking the 10 fads that could only have come from the ‘gram. How many are you guilty of posting?

1. Avocado toast

One of the biggest food trends of the 2010s, avocado toast, was given a boost as the millennial brunch dish of choice thanks to its highly Instagrammable aesthetic, the green of the avocado, and the overall look that says: "I can afford to spend $20 on something that actually costs $2."

2. #FollowMeTo

Murad Osmann and Natalia Zakharova are the couple who can lay claim to starting this trend, which spread like wildfire across Instagram. Using the hashtag #followmeto, photographer Osmann and model, Zakharova travel the world, posting striking images against the backdrop of some of the world's most famous landmarks, including Dubai's own Burj Al Arab.

3. Inspirational Quotes

With thousands of accounts dedicated to posting daily inspirational quotes, and everyone from your yoga teacher to your barista dropping some Gandhi-inspired wisdom into their everyday pics, it seems no post is too mundane to be livened up with a meaningful quote. After all, no photo of your dinner is complete without a side order of Nietzsche.


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4. Camera eats first

Otherwise known as photographing your food, Instagrammers must be used to eating cold dinners by now, judging by the amount of time they spend taking pictures of it once it arrives at the table. Filed under the hashtags #food, #foodie and #hungry, the trend of snapping food and drinks means there are now more than 400 million #food posts on Instagram.

5. Instagrammable food

Savvy cafes and restaurants were quick to start creating dishes and drinks specifically for the purpose of them being Instagrammed. And that's how we ended up with rainbow foods, sugar-saturated unicorn-themed dishes, Freakshakes, the croissant-doughnut hybrid cronut, and those cheeseburgers that were sandwiched between a sliced glazed doughnut, which, let's be honest, no one actually wanted to eat.

6. #throwbackthursday

This gem of a trend has lead to some of the best celebrity photos on the Internet, usually from before they were famous. One of the best, and most parodied, was Fast & Furious actor Dwayne Johnson's throwback from 1994, which he captioned: 'Fanny pack and lean take it to a whole other level.'

7. The ice cream cone pose

The humble ice cream cone got the Instagram treatment when it became the go-to snap for anyone who wanted to #humblebrag (another Insta-trend) about the incredible view they were enjoying on their amazing holiday, while pretending the photo was about the ice cream.


While FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) actually pre-dates Instagram, having been identified in a 2000 research paper, the social anxiety condition was exacerbated by the image-sharing platform, populated as it is by photos of your friends having more fun than you. Enter then JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) as homebodies and introverts hit back at their partying peers with snaps of hot chocolate being drunk by roaring fires.

9. #mancrushmonday and #womancrushwednesday

Whether you want to declare your love for someone, or simply express your admiration, these two hashtags gave users the chance to show their appreciation for the people in their lives and the world around them.

10. Instagram husbands

Instagram husbands are a social media species defined by their ability to defy the laws of physics and patience in order to nail the perfect shot for their partner. Essentially, they're a human selfie stick. Laying on their stomach in the middle of the road during rush hour? Check. Dangling precariously off the top of a ladder for the right angle? Done! If it’s for the ‘gram, you can risk your life, but not your marriage, right, boys?