Instagram’s Growing Pains

If you have checked out Instagram in the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed a few changes. A few weeks ago, the powers-that-be decided to change Instagram’s algorithm, meaning that users would be shown pictures in a different way. This was a big shake-up for a lot of users. Since Instagram’s inception, their content feed was chronological, meaning that when you logged in you would see content in real time, as people posted. That meant you could see posts from earlier in the day by just scrolling up. After the algorithm change, Instagram will now decide what posts they think you will be most interested in. So they will move around content, and instead of seeing what you would normally see, now they will decide what you see.

So who was most upset by the changes? Well, mostly those who have made this photo app a very real part of their life. From teenagers to thirty-something’s, this app is obsessively popular, with folks from all different walks of life. This was a concern for retail users of Instagram, who’s potential customers might now never see their posts. To combat this, there is a “subscribe” button that will alert you when your favorite account posts something new. The general consensus is that users are still upset, and had no problem with seeing their feed in chronological order.

Then yesterday Instagram debuted a new logo, and met a ton of backlash from users. Since fall of 2010 Instagram had a recognizable logo, a rainbow striped vintage Polaroid camera-shaped box. The new logo is a simple camera shape with a rainbow background. One might think this is a silly thing to get upset about. But change can be hard. And why do popular companies change logos? Some think that it will keep marketing fresh. Google changes their logo just about every week, and we are ok with it. Instagram commented “Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become.” Now Twitter and Facebook are both buzzing with angry Instagram users who are demanding that the old logo be reinstated. Not that this is anything new. When the wildly popular ride sharing app Uber changed their logo a few months ago, they too met backlash. On paper it seems like most consumers value familiarity, as there is almost always a public outcry when big name companies change their logo. Maybe it’s that we as consumers fear change. Time will tell if Instagram folds to its users, or if they will keep trucking on with their new look.

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