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Instagram logo change: Are users overreacting?

Following the recent introduction of an algorithmic feed, Instagram has made another big decision to change its skeumorphic app logo to a simpler and flatter design.

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This includes an updated icon and a new set of icons for new  functions like Boomerang, Hyperlapse and Layout. Its user interface was also refreshed with a simpler, more consistent design to bring an increased focus to the photos and videos of its users.

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According to an Instagram spokesperson, the change reflects Instagram’s evolution from a place to edit and share photos, to a global community of interests where people share content and connect with one another.

“We’ve been inspired by all the ways the community has grown and changed, and we wanted to create something that reflects how vibrant and diverse storytelling on Instagram has become,” the press statement read.

But as always, the logo has attracted both love and scorn from the court of public opinion. Take a look at some of the comments in the Twitter-verse

But some really like it:

In an conversation with Marketing, Dragon Rouge’s CEO Jean-Baptiste Danet said when it comes to rebranding exercises, the design community is harder to please than everyday consumers.

We asked leading branding experts if the design community is just too hard and unfair on its industry peers.

Graham Hitchmough, CEO at Brand Union, said branding and design professionals should be happy that global brand revamps like Instagram are now a matter of public debate.

“This clearly shows that the public is opening up to the world of advertising,” he said.

But was the logo change necessary?

According to Hitchmough online brands such as Uber, Google and Instagram, are not made of the same DNA as big global players, as such they are more ready to evolve when they feel the need. These brands are constantly evolving and redefining their image.

Online brands don’t put their head in the lion’s mouth of change once in every decade and hope for the best. They are constantly evolving, tweaking, testing, failing and retrying.

This is the gospel of Google, Instagram, Spotify, Uber and all the other brands trying to change the planet one line of code at a time.

For Hitchmough, the old-school camera icon did not resonate with its growing user demographic is people under 20 years old.

The real significance of this change, he added, is in the user experience, which is better: cleaner, more sophisticated and removes friction points to even better impact and access images – which is what Instagram should be all about.

“But don’t get too attached to it.  Because for these brands shaping the way we experience, share and interact, change is really the only constant,” he added.

Jonathan Bonsey, principal creative and executive officer of The Bonsey Design Partnership, said usually a logo change represents a shift in the underlying business model, technology or market it seeks to address. Moreover, Instagram’s new technology was not reflected in the previous identity.

“The Instagram logo was distinct, but old,” Bonsey said.

It was necessary for Instagram to catch up with other brands and preserve its longevity and huge user base, he said adding:

“While everyone else’s app has become simplified and flattened, Instagram’s remained willfully retro and reassuringly cute. But the brand is more than a collection of 1970’s style filters.

He added the evolution was necessary to reflect the new technologies that the application promises.

Check out Instagram’s video on its logo change which it published on its Facebook Page.

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