Instagram Trends: the tree's guide to Meta's 2023 breakdown

Instagram Trends: the tree's guide to Meta's 2023 breakdown

The Instagram 2023 Trends Report is officially out. Created by Meta in collaboration with WGSN, the report investigates how Gen Z is using social media. It’s short and snappy – perfect social content – but it’s just the facts and stats. We’ve taken a deep dive into the Trends Report and paired those key stats with a list of social-first takeaways that you can action for your business. Let’s get Meta.

What one word

When asked for one word that encapsulated the year ahead for Gen Z, three answers were given several times: Healing, Energised and Main Character Energy. We can see from these answers that Gen Z doesn’t care for word counts – but also that members are an inherently positive bunch who are, like all generations since the mid-20th century, focused on the self.

Brand takeaway

Making your content about your customer will be more effective than making it about your product. Gen Z are young people – and the young like to talk about, read about and watch themselves.

A different world

Our first stat is found at the deep end of the Mark Zuckerberg empire. Yep, we’re diving straight into the metaverse. According to the Trends Report, “Over half of Gen Z plan to get fashion or beauty inspiration from digital avatars or influencers in 2023.” To clarify, digital avatars and influencers aren’t real. They’re CGI creations made of pixel. Thus, they represent the perfect brand ambassador – one made from scratch by the brand itself.

Brand takeaway

The metaverse is a big, scary place, but digital influencers are coming. In what seems like a natural evolution of the company mascot, some digital influencers are starting to represent brands. Why not make your own?

Money, money, money

Let’s talk cold, hard cash. Regarding fashion, “Gen Z consumers aren’t immune to rising costs, and in 2023 more Gen Z consumers plan to thrift their clothing.” Moving on to finance in general, “two-thirds of them plan to use social media to make money in 2023.” These two stats reveal how Gen Z think about their finances. Money is important, but only if they’re doing something they love to make it. If not, they’ll make do.

Brand takeaway

If you can help Gen Z make money, that group is more likely to interact with your brand. Think about how you can do this – offering services, masterclasses alongside your products, opportunities to learn or ways of becoming a brand ambassador.

Born free

Gen Z is the first generation born into the internet era – so it makes sense that members would be naturally savvy online creators with a penchant for making content. “Nearly half of Gen Z plan to DIY their clothes in 2023.”

Regarding the metaverse, “67% of Gen Z users feel avatars should better reflect diverse body types, clothing and skin tones in the coming year.” These two stats form one conclusion: Gen Z is here to make things personal.

Brand takeaway

Agency is key. Give your Gen Z customers the power to do their own thing with your brand – to customise, to create, to personalise and to design.

Brought together

Sure, Gen Z is the first internet generation. But they also want to meet each other IRL. “Nearly one-third of Gen Z users look forward to in-person experiences—like creator conventions and meet-and-greets—with their favourite influencers”.

Brand takeaway

Creating branded events in the real world, giving your customers the chance to meet people they’ve met in their online communities – and the influencers they love – is a sure-fire way of psychologically connecting your brand with positive feelings.

Looking to the stars

Finally, according to the dating section of the Trends Report, “almost half of Gen Z social media users answered “no” when asked if they would date someone with an incompatible astrology chart.” This opinion speaks to a very human desire to be grouped or put into a collective – to find your tribe.

Brand takeaway

Create somewhere for your customers to belong online like communities and groups based on their interests – or go out and find them.


Gen Z is a generation focused on self-love and self-improvement, on customisation and creativity, on brining the social media world into the real world and on building communities. Take the learnings, then go forth and multiply your social media stats.

About the report: In October 2022, WGSN conducted a survey of 1,200 Gen Z social media users aged 16-24 across the United States.