Biggest Social Media Trends of 2021

The year 2021 started as an year of hope, with vaccine for the abominable Wuhan virus finally coming to be, but things are yet to normalise in 2022, what with new variants which keep knocking on our door.

Despite all that, as we say a goodbye to 2021 and cross our fingers at 2022, let’s take a look back and reminiscence at 2021: the year of hope. May 2022 not hit us just as hard as the last one.

Music Trend: Copines Challenge

Copines is a famous track by Aya Nakamura from August 2018. It gained a lot of popularity on Instagram, when many creators tried a choreography on the slowed-down version of this track and it instantly turned into a trend in January. People from all over the world tried the dance routine and the trend.

Reference link: https://www.instagram.com/p/CKWU7OehxRf/https://www.instagram.com/p/CKWU7OehxRf/

Original YouTube Link: Aya Nakamura – Copines

Other Trend: The Buss It Challenge

The Buss It Challenge features the song ‘Buss It’ by Texan rapper Erica Banks. ‘Buss It’, which was released in June 2020. It was started by Erika Davila in January 2021. To take part in the glam transition challenge, people started in casual clothing and no makeup. When the beat drops, they drop to the floor in a glam outfit and start dancing for the camera.

Reference link: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CJ_wtLTpzZ2/

Original YouTube Link: Erica Banks – Buss It

Music trend: Pawri Ho rahi Hai trend

It started when the Pakistani influencer “Dananeer” posted a video and it took the internet by storm when the music producer “YashRaj” made a song out of it. It dominated the reels and memes in the month of February and went on till the end of the year. Though it was especially a huge deal in February, it refused to die and went on till the end of 2021.

Reference links- https://www.instagram.com/p/CLPjf4-BXEC/

Original YouTube Link: Pawri Hori Hai | Yashraj Mukhate | Dialogue With Beats

Other trend: the “TED talk” trend

It’s a filter that lets you create your own funny TED talk and allows you to share it with the people. Creators and Netizens got super creative with it and created their own TED talks this trend started in the month of February and went on till March/April. People still continued posting it but it was mainly famous in February and then went out of buzz later on.

Reference link-

Music Trend: Lut Gaye trend

Lut Gaye is a song released in 2021 that features Emraan Hashmi. The song began to rise in popularity on Instagram reels in February and reached its peak in March. It mainly involves the lip sync trend.

Reference link: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CMmWpSjpBJG/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=4fb9edd6-5792-4e7d-b893-cf318c9e4e86

Original YouTube Link: Lut Gaye

Other Trend: Bad Challenge

In the month of March, #BadChallenge really caught the eye of the netizens because it’s so quirky and fun. The trend was simple, all that people had to do is groove to the song in the beginning and then pose like the legendary Michael Jackson as soon as the beat drops.

Reference link:  https://www.instagram.com/reel/CMhVY0qAwCF/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading

Music trend: Bongo Cha-cha-cha trend

This was a global trend that slowly catched up in India. In this people created expectations vs reality videos and the music plays in the background. It was famous mainly in the month of April and went on for quite some time but was not as famous at the end as it was in April/May.

Reference link-https://www.instagram.com/reel/CNhp43Gnh9t/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=6c165a29-9337-4bd6-a288-c629c82f8b0a

Other trend: the Nesesari challenge

This was another memorable dance choreography challenge that gained popularity in the month of April. People could be seen shaking their legs to the nesesari song on Instagram reels.

Reference link-

Music Trend: Runaway Aurora Trend

The Runaway Aurora trend features Norwegian singer Aurora’s 2015 soundtrack ‘Runaway’, began to gain popularity in April and lasted through May. Accompanying this is a filter inspired by the silhouette challenge on TikTok, thus became known as the Runaway Aurora filter. The lyrics “And I was runnin’ far away, would I run off the world someday?” was symbolic of the time we were in.

Reference link: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CNwivNKHw3N/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=61547857-a733-41bd-b7a5-c77b396aa5b6

Original YouTube Link: AURORA – Runaway

Other Trend: The Chicken Reel Trend

This trend is also can be a prank and gained popularity in the US as well as the entire world. The prank typically starts with individuals standing in a line. Everyone in the video acts as if they’re going to do the dance, but they don’t. They leave that to the leader who wounds up looking really silly.

Reference link: https://www.instagram.com/reel/COhf-7jHAmN/

Music trend – Don’t talk to me

#DontTalkToMe is a trend that is buzzing on the internet, with Playboi Carti’s popular track Punk Monk. It’s a viral trend with only hand gestures. It was used a lot up until October 2021.

Reference link- https://www.instagram.com/reel/CQnTaYDnXAO/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Other trend – Not a photo

The super cool challenge is to freeze and stand in one place and to make it look like your video is a still photo. Once the music beat drops, you move and reveal that it was a video the whole time. This trend was short lived.

Reference link – https://www.instagram.com/p/CSL8bzCpDwW/?utm_medium=copy_link

Music Trend: Bills, Bills, Bills

Bills, Bills, Bills by Destiny’s Child was one of the most trending song for reels in July. It is super catchy, savage, and gave creators plenty of opportunities to create twists for them Each creator could experiment and try out creative ideas that go along with the song.

Reference link: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CQ3flP7jkVC/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=412b9c56-4a88-4e82-88b9-5b692a8493c6

Original YouTube Link: Destiny’s Child – Bills, Bills, Bills

Other Trend: Hello my name is…

This is a quirky trend that radiates cute and goofy vibes. It went viral in July and all about using the ‘Magnified Eyes‘ to get a zoomed-in version of eyes. After which, creators make weird-looking faces with those huge eyeballs, to give a hilarious effect.

Reference link: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CRy0PBcn5_R/

Music trend – Jeff Bezos

This trend uses a song by Bo Burnham for it’s point of twist. This one trend is the perfect way in which one can summarize their journey of ‘then and now’, and can highlight the fact about how long you’ve come. The ‘then and now’ bit can be shown in just two photos.

 Reference link – https://www.instagram.com/p/CTuCxWngKqF/?utm_medium=copy_link

Original YouTube Link: Bo Burnham: Inside – Jeff Bezos

Other trend – Blinkat4

The #blinkat4 challenge is yet another super cool challenge where you have to blink exactly at 4.000.

Reference link – https://www.instagram.com/p/CSZI69rjuGF/?utm_medium=copy_link

Music trend: the “touch it” trend

Being a global trend, touch it took over the internet especially in the month of September and it was equally famous in India as well as other countries. Netizens could be seen dancing to the song. Though the lyrics of the song were sort of explicit and were not decent according to some netizens, YouTubers and reelers still enjoyed dancing to this song and it was in the buzz till the end of the year and refused to die down even after September.

Reference link: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CYEdx-ro6G5/?utm_medium=share_sheet

Original YouTube Link: Busta Rhymes – Touch It

Other trend: Apparently 2021, being a stale year for reels didn’t really have that much for netizens to dance over and that too especially in the month of September. Except from the touch challenge, there weren’t many challenges which originated from the month itself. At least that is what I found on the Internet, even after doing a lot of research on trends of September 2021. Did not find many. The bachpan Ka pyaar challenge and bajre da sitta challenge, were some which originated way before September but wee in buzz later on in September as well.

Music trend: Love Nanwati

A dance routine for this song was created by a Tiktoker named Tracy Joseph in late September which became a hit on Tik Tok and Instagram. People danced to the beats creating the #Lovenwantitichallenge.

Reference link- https://www.instagram.com/p/CUP40qzB-iJ/?utm_medium=share_sheet

Original YouTube Link: Love Nwantiti

Original YouTube Link: CKay – Love Nwantiti

Other trend: Halloween ghost trend

This trend started by the end of September to celebrate the Halloween next month. People all over the world took photos of themselves dressing up in a bedsheet ghost costume. The song used in the trend was “oh klahoma” by Jack Stauber. The trend crossed over 2.2 billion hashtags on Tik tok itself and over 13,000 posts on Instagram.

Reference link- https://www.instagram.com/_lowvibes_/p/CGJYFDalWuC/?utm_medium=share_sheet

Music trend: Jugnu trend

The song named “Jugnu” by Indian singer Badshah was released at the end of October   and the hook steps of the song became an immediate trend among the masses by the mid November. From Bollywood actors, dancers to normal population everyone became hooked to the song and its beats.

Reference link- https://www.instagram.com/reel/CWcnQJEDN3t/?utm_medium=share_sheet

Original YouTube Link: Badshah – Jugnu

Other trend: Urban dictionary trend-

Started in November 2021 by instagram user @bymayuuu who used the “add yours” sticker on instagram and asked people to share the meaning of their names as per the Urban Dictionary. The sticker said “Show Us Your Name in Urban Dictionary”. Over 2.2 Million users shared their screenshot through this sticker.

Music trend: Bananza Challenge

This trend started as a challenge where people had to belly dance along with the beats of the song “Bananza” by Akon. A trendy dance move was created which became a hit and people started using the same dance moves in their videos. It became on of the biggest dance challenge in the month and is still being continued in January 2022.

Reference link- https://www.instagram.com/reel/CWyGyQMgXWo/?utm_medium=share_sheet

Other trend: Love you for infinity

Taking a step ahead in terms of transition video, this trend uses the song “love you for infinity” by James Young. People use normal lighting for their video and when the tone of the song changes, they use the ring light to show the transition. In early videos the transition is a silhouette of their body but as the trend spread people started using the song as a means of showing a transition.

Reference link- https://www.instagram.com/reel/CXgP61JDEBm/?utm_medium=share_sheet

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Hi! I’m Yoshita!

I am a law student and a content writer here, who appreciates harmless sarcasm. I write about whatever my brainbox (or yours) fancies. Writing something other than research papers and assignments makes life a little less chaotic, for it gives a sense of unwinding your emotions. I like exploring and talking over ideas and thoughts (and an open political discussion).



Hi! I’m Anamika.

I am an idiosyncratic soul from Bangalore working towards my Bachelor’s in Journalism, English Literature, and Psychology. I wish to acquire more random knowledge in various domains, and ultimately aspires to become an investigative journalist.


Hey there! I’m Murtaza. I’m a reader who loves to write stuff he wants to read…If that makes sense. Apart from reading and writing, I also love painting, so you can say I’m a sucker for all sorts of art forms -Including myself ;). When I’m not reading, writing or painting, I’m overthinking. But something which I excel at, is being confused.

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Hey there! I’m Namita. Languages have always excited me and I’ve had the opportunity to learn four other Indian languages apart from English. I’m extremely passionate about English as a language, and both the grammar and literature aspects of it has equally interested me right from school. I also enjoy writing, sketching and painting when I have some time to spare.

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