That’s Aesthetically Pleasing

Everything You Need To Know About Social Media’s ‘Aesthetics’ Trend.

Aesthetics on Instagram and TikTok are always changing, and it’s sometimes hard to keep up. Not too long ago, it was all about oversaturated filters and perfect photos. Moving away from this “polished” look and and feel, social media users have latched onto trends like cottage-core, and dark academia.

This gloomy aesthetic surfaced on Tumblr and the well-known mood board platform, Pinterest, during COVID-19 lockdown.

What is an aesthetic?

The term ‘aesthetic’ is driven by communication and self-expression online; people use it as a vision board to express what they want and who they want to be.

Credit: Instagram, @sinembhd

Naomi Mirny, (writer at The McGill Tribune) says, “The term has completely changed to now align with a collection of visuals that represent a broad array of concepts ranging from historical eras, locations, genres of fiction, music, and even pre-existing subcultures.”

Credit: Instagram, @danielapardor

Today’s aesthetic trend has evolved. We’re witnessing the rise of an aesthetic that is real, that is flawed – especially since the rise of BeReal, and the movement of making Instagram, Instagram again.

Credit: Instagram, @dualipa

The top three trends taking over social platforms are:

  • Unedited photo dumps.
  • Reels ‘Aesthetic’.
  • Blurred Shots.

Unedited Photo Dumps

Using Instagram’s carousel format, many influencers and celebrities have hopped on the ‘photo dump’ trend, sharing a bunch of organic, authentic photos of what’s going on in their life, without edits.

Reels ‘Aesthetic’

A highly stylised aesthetic, including a series of photos or clips with trending audio, a dark and atmospheric filter and a custom text overlaying in a neutral colour, is what would be counted by Gen Z as a ‘vibe’.

Blurred Shots

Out-of-focus photography, with a range of subtle to fully-blurred action shots, creates an ‘anti-aesthetic’ aesthetic.

This current trend gives creators a heightened sense of authenticity towards their followers. What’s more, it helps influence partnerships to maintain a sense of relatability on a platform that was once ‘perfect’.

This trend has not only resulted in more engaging stories from creators accounts, but provided a new marketing technique for brands; they can collate user-generated content (UGC) ‘photo dumps’ of consumers using their products, creating content that feels relatable and native to the social platform.

Finally, for our previous #SocialShort, click here.