How Instagram Continues to Thrive Post Lockdown

Updated: Apr 18, 2021

A year later, Instagram trends are consistently growing in popularity.

Social media landscape is ever-changing as new features, trends, and updates are introduced. During last year’s lockdown, an uptick in social media usage became prominent as people were staying inside. According to a poll taken by The Harris Poll Stagwell Company, there was a 50% increase in adults using social media in the United States during the height of the pandemic between April 3 to April 18. One social media platform that stood out from the rest was Instagram.

Based on statistics from Mediakix, Instagram alone had a 40% surge of users and a 70% surge of IG Live streaming by the end of 2020. There was a movement from influencers and brands to post more content during the lockdown to gratify audiences that were also staying home. In 2021, as noted by Sprout Social, IG Lives have increased in length and topic over the span of a year. This means influencers and brands are using IG Live Streams to expand their viewership and connect with audiences on a multitude of interests.

The use of IG Live seems to be a key point of engagement for many businesses, small and large as a way to keep in touch with users and make sales. In Maple Street Media’s hometown of Burlington, local retail stores such as Expressions and Jess Boutique began to host live sales weekly through their IG accounts and still continue. Many larger corporate businesses have also taken advantage of this trend and have begun live streaming to engage with audiences. American Eagle, as stated by Glossy, posted about 10 IG live sessions during the month of April 2020 with their “Come Home Together” campaign. American Eagle is continuing this trend on Instagram through the #AerieReal Change Makers campaign with IG lives being hosted weekly by the company.

Instagram has also become a powerful tool for social change and justice. In the wake of the Black Live Matter movement and this past presidential election, there is a trend to post with purpose. Digital Commerce 360 stated that 33% of users are posting more consciously while 49% of users stated that they shift their content based on current events. This is quite evident as many brands and influencers are openly standing in solidarity with BIPOC and speaking out against social injustice. According to Sprout Social, one trend that began in June 2020 that has continued to 2021 is supporting local businesses and nonprofit organizations. One of Instagram’s highly used features is “stickers” which are now being updated each time to support a cause.

It does not seem Instagram’s popularity will be fading anytime soon. In fact, the platform is thriving as new features and trends are introduced that brands, businesses, and influencers are jumping to try out. As 2021 and the pandemic subsides, it would be interesting to see how this platform continues to evolve.


Maple Street Media is a student-run public relations firm operated through Champlain College's chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). The firm draws on the talents and experiences of students from all different walks of the college to provide services in graphic design, social media marketing, copywriting, and more.

Maple Street Media provides a unique service offering short-term public relations solutions within each client's budget.


AEO.Inc “Come together: At Home” April 2020.

Aerie. “#AerieREAL Life” January 2021.

Chen, Jenn. “8 Instragram Trends to pay attention to in 2021” March 2021.

MediaKix. “8 Statistics Showing How Quickly Covid-19 is Changing Social Media.” April 2020.

Richards, Katie. “How fashion brands are growing Instagram Live viewers as everyone flocks to the feature.” April 2020.

Samet, Alexandra. “How the Coronavirus is Changing US Social Media Usage.” July 2020.

Wold, Suzin. “COVID-19 is changing how, why and how much we’re using social media.” September 2020.

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