- Instagram has swapped out its iconic and recognizable Polaroid-inspired camera logo for a new logo featuring a modern camera with a rainbow backdrop. When users update their mobile apps starting on Wednesday, they'll be greeted by Instagram's new, minimalistic look.
- The brand redesigned the icons for its other mobile apps — Layout, Boomerang and Hyperlapse — as well as the user interface for its namesake app. Instagram said the changes reflect how "vibrant and diverse" the community of storytellers using the platform has become.
- In a blog post on Medium, Instagram's Head of Design Ian Spalter said the redesign helps unify the suite of Instagram apps and puts the emphasis on the content by simplifying the interface. "While the icon is a colorful doorway into the Instagram app, once inside the app, we believe the color should come directly from the community’s photos and videos," he said.
Logo changes, especially for logos tied to a brand's identity, don't always go over well with consumers — recall the backlash over Uber's recent app icon change. Mere hours after Instagram debuted its pared down new look, people are already questioning whether the rebrand away from its iconic logo will hurt the company.
Some users have pointed out that the new logo doesn't instantly make you think of Instagram and therefore could blend in among all the other apps on people's screens. "As far as camera icons go, this is quite lovely and has the minimal amount of elements necessary to be recognized as a camera BUT not the minimal amount of elements necessary to be recognized as Instagram," writes the author of a Brand New review of the new logo.
For its part, Instagram believes this logo change was long overdue.
"Brands, logos and products develop deep connections and associations with people, so you don’t just want to change them for the sake of novelty," Spalter explained. "But the Instagram icon and design was beginning to feel, well… not reflective of the community, and we thought we could make it better."
The logo being replaced is the brand's third since its initial launch five years ago. In many ways, the evolution of Instagram's logo has mirrored the evolution of its app, from its start as a relatively simple photo-filtering app to its evolution into a fully-fledged social community.
When Instagram was first founded, it was a place for people to edit and share photos. But in the years since its launch, Instagram has evolved into a global community where users are sharing more than 80 million photos and videos daily.
In recent years, Instagram has made updates to its flagship product to create greater marketing opportunities for brands. It has made messaging possible within the app and opened up advertising on the platform for marketers to reach its expansive user base.
Beyond being a place to share selfies and mini-video loops, Instagram has become a forum for discovery and discussion among its 400 million-plus users that range from prom-going teens and famous pop stars to publishers and brands.
The updated look "strikes a balance between recognition and versatility," Spalter said. But the suggestion that the new logo is "versatile" begs the question: Where does Facebook want to go with Instagram? As Instagram and Facebook seize on new trends (think: live video), the new look leaves the door open for the brand and its community to continue evolving.