Remember that time that -insert app or website here- decided to change up its design and then everyone freaked the hell out and demanded that the design be changed back to the way it was? Yeah, this happens every time a major change gets made to an app or website, and the bigger the change, the bigger the uproar from the community. Sometimes the uproar is justified, but most of the time it isn’t, and the community ends up calming down and embracing the changes within a few weeks. That’s almost certainly what’s going to happen with the current uproar regarding Instagram’s big change.
Instagram changed its logo on Wednesday and, predictably, the Internet was not entirely pleased. To put it bluntly: It freaked out. The popular app ditched its old-timey camera icon — the one that actually looked like a camera — and replaced it with a square symbol that evoked a camera, rendered in the vivid colors and simple lines of the “flat design” aesthetic. It was sleek, minimalist and, according to many users, kind of basic. The company said simplicity was the goal. In a blog post, it said the new logo reflected the app’s explosive growth in popularity over the past five years from a photo-sharing service to “a global community of interests” whose users share more than 80 million photos and videos each day. “The simpler design puts more focus on your photos and videos without changing how you navigate the app,” the company said. “Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become.” But the people of the Internet were not buying it. Memes were deployed. We sought help from three of The Times’s veteran Instagram-watchers: the technology reporters Farhad Manjoo and Mike Isaac and the fashion critic Vanessa Friedman. That may seem self-involved, but this is a story about an app that traffics in selfies. Roll with it.