Changes to favorite social media apps can be seriously destabilizing. When Instagram announced the possibility of an algorithm governing the order of content in a feed, users quickly started swapping ideas to minimize the impact of the adjustment. It turns out the addition of an algorithm wasn't the only surprise on the way for users: on Wednesday, the company overhauled the appearance of the entire app and reactions to Instagram's new interface are mixed.
The updated Instagram app includes a black-and-white color scheme punctuated by red-tinted notifications, according to TIME. The minimalist design allows photos and videos to visually pop. Instagram head of design Ian Spalter wrote on Medium that the emphasis on content was intentional, reported USA Today:
We stripped the color and noise from surfaces where people's content should take center stage, and boosted color on other surfaces like sign up flows and home screens.
Instagram's iconic logo also got an upgrade. The company reimagined its classic camera by placing a rainbow gradient behind a flat, white camera outline, according to Wired. The change isn't limited to Instagram. The company's other apps, Boomerang, Hyperlapse, and Layout, all got new icons featuring the gradient, Instagram reported. The changes to Instagram's logo inspired the Internet to have some fun imagining the design process:
In reality, the process looked more like this:
On Medium, Spalter wrote that brainstorming to create Instagram's new look started last year when the company began to feel the app's community had outgrown the old branding. Employees tried flattening the original icon before exploring a more drastic change; Instagram employees tried sketching the "icon from memory in 5 seconds" in order to identify which parts stood out most in users' minds. Since the rainbow meant a lot to the community, designers translated it into a sleeker gradient; then, they worked on abstracting the camera glyph enough to create a distinctive look that still tied back to Instagram's visual history. When the company jumped into changing up the app itself, it focused on refreshing the interface while ensuring navigation remained intuitive. Users see a different design, but posting and browsing should feel familiar. Spalter wrote that he hopes Instagram's community will embrace the changes, according to USA Today:
The evolution of the community has been inspiring, and we hope that we’ve captured some of the life, creativity, and optimism people bring to Instagram every day. Our hope is that people will see this app icon as a new creative spark — something to have fun with and make their own.
The Internet has mixed feelings about Instagram's makeover. Some users are totally in love with the new look:
Others aren't feeling the redesign:
The changes to Instagram also inspired some joking around:
Of course, some people feel the Internet is overthinking it:
The gradient rainbow and minimalist design may not be everyone's favorite, but it's exciting to see Instagram working to evolve with its community.