• “Authenticity” and why it’s back
  • #nofilter and “I woke up like this”
  • Finding balance is a look
  • What Brand Managers need to know

Authenticity on Instagram is all about being true to your brand voice and not being afraid to speak openly about the topics you care about. Given that Instagram is visually driven, the authenticity ideology has since evolved into an aesthetic of its own and is gaining traction.

Much of it has to do with ‘aspirational fatigue’. Where brands and influencers once curated the impossibly luxurious lifestyle – filled with exotic and far-flung destinations, uber-expensive products and premier-or-die experiences – reality crept too close for comfort and people have reopened their minds to real, authentic, unfiltered moments that resonate with relatability and human connection.

Source: Instagram @rohinielyse

Back to visuals: what does this mean?

Bloggers and influencers have been the catalyst of the #nofilter trend. It’s all about the “in the moment” look, with barely-there editing, akin to nude make-up. The leader of the “I woke up like this…for real” movement is Instagram influencer Rohini Mauk, who has perfected the no edit aesthetic. She says: “The days of a perfectly manicured feed are slowly dying out.”

Nichole Ciocotti, co-founder of Instagram app STORYLUXE (a compendium of 700 unique photo & video templates), herself says: “In the beginning, everyone was forced to be super polished. Now, after some time has passed, people are finding their true voices on social.” It’s a trend set to evolve, with some brands preferring a particular aesthetic and some striking a balance between the two. As Nichole puts it: “It comes down to what kind of message and emotion you are trying to convey.” 

Source: Instagram @storyluxe

What Brand managers need to know!

Beyond its marked visual trends, as a new medium that is developing with swift socio-cultural impact (to wit the #nofilter movement), the true drivers of Instagram growth are: strong calls-to-action, community engagement and appealing captions. Combine these with an influencer who presents personality and connection, and you have a conceivable winner. For now, lay off the filters until further notice.

C.S.A.’s monthly cultural portal, The WIRE connects the dots of culture. With concise stories, many with video content, take a premium dive into the world of African entertainment & cultural fluidity. It’s one thing to be hip to what’s happening but it is another to know why.

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