Today will go down in the annals of social media history as the day the internet freaked out over Instagram's new logo. A reporter at the New York Times went as far as to say, "All is lost. Instagram will never be the same again." Maybe that's tongue in cheek? But based on the overwhelming reaction, I'm guessing no.
Though I'm not a designer by training, I sometimes play one on newsprint. I've lived through four redesigns of the newspaper I work for over the course of six years. And while comparing newspapers to Instagram is more than a little apples to oranges, just hear me out on this.
Users overwhelmingly hate change. Not one of the redesigns I was a part of went over without a reader backlash. And similarly, not one of the redesigns were perfect. There were course corrections along the way, with our most recent redesign being a back-to-basics approach that went over shockingly well.
I'm pleased to say though that every time the look of the paper was refreshed, there was a need for it. The changes were aligned with our mission. They had a purpose. Each was done with the intent of creating a paper that made more sense in an increasingly digital world.
I don't work for Instagram. I can only speculate as to their intent. But I was an early adopter, and I can say without any hyperbole that the app itself is bigger than just photos and videos -- it's about sharing content. By minimizing the camera in their logo, they're communicating this. It's also probably about money, but that's a subject for another post.
The change makes sense to me. But what really matters is, does it make sense to them?