Instagram Gets a New Logo, and People Hate It

Posted on May 19, 2016 | Updated on November 29, 2022

You can’t change something used by over millions of people and not expect some commentary. A few months back, Google changed their logo and the Internet went bonkers. Now, it is Instagram’s turn to feel the “love” and the “hate” from its legion of loyal users. If there is one thing anyone doing business online should know it is that the users aren’t shy when it comes to sharing their opinions. Yes, we’re living in an instant review kind of world now and companies have to “brace for impact” with even the smallest changes to logos, products and services.


For the record, the Instagram logo switch went from an old timey kind of photo to a “flat design” with a rainbow gradation color scheme. Why the change? Let’s ask Instagram:

“The Instagram community has evolved over the past five years from a place to share filtered photos to so much more — a global community of interests sharing more than 80 million photos and videos every day. Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become,” so says the Instagram blog.

Who could argue with that kind of design logic? Actually, quite a few folks.

Fast and Furious Reviews

The best place for users to voice their opinions is across the Twitterverse. It only takes a trending hashtag to tap into the current zeitgeist. Along with the comments, there was a plethora of gifs and memes generated to support those opinions. Those take efforts but it’s the pith retorts (140 characters or less to be exact) that are the most biting.

@TonyRomm went all designer wonky with his review: “The new Instagram logo truly is gross. And I’m sure it’s totally coincidence it scans as a bolder version of the iOS photos app icon.”

While @whatTheBit took the “insider” approach: “Instagram’s new logo looks like it was designed by a Samsung intern.” Perhaps a little too inside.

However, @trecoast got a bit more metaphorical: “The new Instagram logo looks like a rejected starburst flavor.”

Thankfully, for Instagram and their team of designers not all of the reaction was negative. @eternalrian couldn’t contain his feelings: “GUYS!!! I’M IN SHOCK RN! INSTAGRAM UPDATE IS DOPE!! CAN’T EVEN BELIEVEE.” (Happy face emoji). Yes, it really means something if the comment is in all caps and you add an extra “E” to “believe.”

@BLAINREID was a bit more subdued but no less complimentary: “This new Instagram update is easy on the eyes. I can deal.”

@TadCarpenter took the philosophical approach: “Love the new @instagram app icon. It’s kinda like when Chris Pratt went from Parks & Rec star to action star. Liked it before, like it now.”

Of course, that is but a small sampling of the thousands of tweets that blasted across Cyberspace. Think of this as the “what color is this dress” discussion for the week.

What Are Designers’ Thoughts on Instagram’s New Logo?

The court of public opinion is not limited to random users. Anytime there is such a major change to a logo, you can bet that web designers across the spectrum will want to toss in their “two cents” worth of opinion.

“It’s quite telling that the launch video seems more about convincing people that this was a rigorous undertaking rather than communicating a strong, differentiating idea that elevates the brand and connects to their past,” writes Sam Becker, Creative Director at Brand Union. No doubt, this is a visual system that’s more practical, usable and modern. It will serve them well, but it could have been so much more.”

Other professional designers chimed in with opinions that the new logo is far too generic. They also point out how the rainbow colors are getting lost against iPhone backgrounds. On the other hand, there were the designers who applauded the change and thought it was in keeping with Instagram’s trendsetting approach to the online world.

So, yes, opinions on both sides of this raging debate. The only relief on the horizon for Instagram will come when the next big company changes their logo or when something crazy happens on Game of Thrones. Clearly, the Internet is a fickle bunch.

About The Author

Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her exploring the outdoors with her husband and dog in their RV, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or curled up with a good book with her cats Gem and Cali.

You can find more of Eleanor's work at

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