If you haven’t been on earth lately, then you probably missed the biggest change in the “app world” all year. Instagram changed their icon and everyone is freaking out. Take a look.


This is a drastic change from their old, dirty brown logo from before which was used with dull, washout blue lettering. The old logo was designed in only 45 minutes (Tech Insider) by a man named Cole Rise, @colerise. In fact, Rise’s icon had such a positive impact that Instagram gave him his own filter name appropriately as “Rise.”

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With or without a good logo, Instagram made it to the top, an elite group of apps that everyone can’t seem to live without. Instagram is actually the number one app for iPhone users. Yes, that is right, it beat Facebook.

Enough with stats and numbers, let’s get into what changes were made.

Let’s start with the inside change of the app. It was made, at first, for iPhones, Androids were not included. Below I have two screenshots of how Instagram looked on my phone, a Galaxy S6 (left) and what it looks like on a iPhone 6 (right). The “big switch” for the Androids didn’t happened until the next day (we are always left in the dust). This, too, caused confusion about Instagram’s update because the Android’s Instagram icon had changed but not the inside of the app.


Obviously the navigation menu is different, but look at the actual content on the page. In the old version, hashtags, usernames, and likes are all in blue (so distracting - or at least now it is). Now, the hashtags and the people who are tagged in the posts are in color; usernames and likes are in black. Instagram told The New York Times, “The simpler design puts more focus on your photos and videos without changing how you navigate the app. Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become.”

What a beautiful thing for all users. Their photos will pop out even more than before, no more distracting colors. This, actually, is great for companies pushing content out to their users: less distractions and more focus on the product!

For some reason, everyone’s first thought is Facebook. Need to sell something? Facebook. Need to find a company? Facebook. Need to find reviews? Facebook. There is no reason that Instagram can’t do similar things, so why aren’t companies spreading throughout multiple platforms? Instagram pages for companies are just now starting to pop up even though Instagram has been around since 2011. It seems that one person has to jump off the cliff and survive before everyone else feels comfortable doing so. The companies who shift first are the ones who grow the fastest on the platform.

The icon, although it is much more hip and current, has totally restructured their branding. Since the update, I always think I’m clicking on the wrong app when I open Instagram. If I didn’t know where the app was placed on my homescreen I would never find it. This is why branding is so important. Before, Instagram was associated with their brown and blue, it’s a symbol that everyone, whether users of Instagram or not, knew. Companies strive for that kind of recognition.

It is possible that Instagram changed without the thought of branding being a barrier. They are big enough that within a few weeks everyone will be used to it, just like how people moved on from the Starbucks logo change and the Facebook change - but they survived, as will Instagram.

My finals thoughts? I like both icons. I side more with the old icon because it was different from every other flat icon out there. It was interesting and caught everyone’s eye. Although, I like the inside of the new Instagram better. I agree with Instagram’s statement to  The New York Times, it does put the focus on the photos. It may be fresh and current but not everyone is going to like the change. What about you? Do you prefer the old or new icon? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!