News & Views
Social icons: Instagram’s new rainbow state

With the recent release of the new Instagram logo design, it remains one of very few social media and messaging logos that is neither entirely blue nor green, such as those of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Periscope Skype, WhatsApp, WeChat, and Line.

Obviously, there is much to discuss with the rebellious rainbow gradient backdrop, but first, let’s uncover why blue is categorically the color of choice for social media platform logos. Blue is undeniably the most popular color in the world. Blue, the color of sky and water, is associated with a range of positive feelings such as trust, strength, dependability, and comfort.

As proof, cities in Japan and Scotland have experienced reductions in both crime and suicide rates after the implementation of blue street lights. While blue lights often represent the safety of emergency vehicles and law enforcement, it also makes it nearly impossible to see one’s veins, thus, many nightclubs, bars etc. around the world have installed blue lights in the restrooms to deter certain methods of drug use. it is also rumored that Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, is red/green colorblind, thus, leaving blue as one of the very few remaining color options for his brand.

While logos often change, sometimes annually, sometimes more often, arguably in order to keep up with the pace of culture, logos within and around the digital world, change even more frequently, as the pace of that culture is heightened. As logos are frequently renewed, revamped, altered, and overhauled, their owners must be prepared for the onslaught of instant feedback on social media.

Back to the new Instagram logo, in preparation for such feedback, the company simultaneously launched a video detailing the rhyme and reason behind the new design. This is significant because it demonstrates that Instagram was, in fact, expecting, or perhaps even hoping that criticism, confusion, frustration, dislike and distaste would arise in reaction to the new logo design. A quiet, demure, acceptance or no reaction at all, in this case, would actually equate failure.

That being said, the flat camera outline against a rainbow gradient backdrop, cheekily likened by one critic to a crime scene chalk body outline, has made quite a splash. Some reactions that crossed my mind, “Is Instagram publicly announcing LGBT support? Is it a filter? They actually paid someone to do this? How long can I delay updating?”

Like it or don’t like it, it’s here to stay, for the moment at least, but don’t get too attached because, just like any Game of Thrones character, it could be gone tomorrow.

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