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Instagram’s new logo prompts retro complaints

The new logos for Instagram and its spin-off apps: Layout, Boomerang and Hyperlapse. Courtesy: Instagram

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As every social media user knows, Instagram introduced a new logo the other day. And it didn’t take long for Instagram fans to burst into a digital howl. The retro camera image that used to belong to the brand has gone, replaced by a slicker, more colorful look with arguably less personality. Still, Instagram, like all businesses, has its reasons for the change.

One of them is that the brand has matured. When Instagram launched six years ago it was a new thing, and it used its polaroid style logo to convey what it did. The new logo still includes a camera, but the background is orangey-purple and the design is flatter, more abstract. Sven Seger, with branding agency FutureBrand, said nowadays Instagram has so many millions of users, “that the literal depiction is not needed anymore, because everybody knows Instagram. They could have any logo,” he said. “They could be completely abstract.”

Armin Vit, editor of the blog Brand New, said Instagram was due for a makeover. It’s outgrown its crafty feel.

“Now it’s more of a social media platform that is highly embraced,” he said. “I think it has to look more like it belongs with other things like, AirBnB, Facebook and Twitter, which it wasn’t doing with the old look.”

Vit said the bolder logo with the neon colors makes it stand out more in a sea of apps on your phone.

Erna Alfred Liousas of Forrester Research said that may be true. But nonetheless she feels slighted. She said Instagram could have involved its users in the decision to change its look.

She said it feels like the brand is saying, “We’ve made this decision which we think is minor, but is something that really means something to you, and we didn’t have the dialogue with you. Sorry.”

Still, Liousas isn’t quitting Instagram, and few other fans are likely to do so either.

Which is the way of the social media world, after all — change, complain, post a selfie, repeat.

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