Let’s not be overdramatic about Instagram


Instagram surprised us with a new icon and UI overhaul last night.

A video posted by Instagram (@instagram) on May 11, 2016 at 6:51am PDT

As expected, the internet has come alive with opinions about the change. It is no surprise that much of it was negative. After all, we are all creatures of habit and a change to our routine, no matter how minuscule, would often be met with resistance.

I asked around and here are some comments ‘ve overheard in the We Are Social Singapore office.1


“the new logo is too colourful for me. but i like the app interface. the app interface and the logo seems to contradict each other.”
“the old logo had more character.”

“It looks like someone’s new manicure.”

A photo posted by Sammy The Nailasaurus (@thesammersaurus) on May 11, 2016 at 3:25pm PDT


“it looks like a slide from a default PowerPoint template.”

Everyone’s talking about how much Instagram’s new account and layout is “ruining their lives” but is it going to, really? Isn’t this the same old cycle that every social media platform go through? Remember when Facebook changed its timeline to non-chronological order? Everyone went berserk but do we really care now? We adjust.

To be honest I don’t think people hate new features or new design elements, they just like things to stay the way they are. Rather than hating the changes, people dislike change itself. To wake up to a different Instagram, to them, might be like waking up in a different house.

It is normal that our first reaction to change is resistance. That is instinct. When Spotify changed its shade of green, the same conversation was had. And now, almost a year on, hardly anyone notices the difference anymore. We adapt, as humans.

Of course, we have people who refuse to accept change. These are the outliers who would choose to stay on iOS 7 because iOS 8 has flat icons. The same people will refuse to update their apps because they want to hold off change as best as they can.

For the rest of us, we complain, we tweet, we make hilarious memes to share online. But we adapt, too, because that is how the human species have survived for thousands of years. If every change in every social media platform was voted upon, we will still be stuck on version 1.0 of all of these services.

This Instagram overhaul is almost like an analogy for the world. The world will not stop to adapt to an individual.

I’ll like to believe that these cosmetic changes on Instagram is the first step to better and more exciting improvements in the future. This has to happen despite the wishes of the few who would wish otherwise.

As one of my favourite philosophers, Mr Spock, likes to say
“Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one.”