Instagram Update: People Hate Change

This week, Instagram users were surprised with a renovated interface that adopted horizontal swiping instead of the vertical scrolling we’ve all become fond of. Lo and behold, there was an overwhelming public outcry against the app’s new changes with many expressing their anger online. However, it turns out that Instagram’s update was intended to roll out as a test for a small group of users, but a system glitch accidentally released the horizontal swiping feature on a much larger scale than expected. Adam Mosseri, the new head of Instagram, sent out an apology for the mistake and the app returned to its tried-and-true layout.

What amazes me is not the accidental update itself but the immediate response to it. I am completely floored by how quickly and intensely the public’s anger boiled to the surface. Granted, I wasn’t completely in favor of the interface update, but I understand that an influential and revolutionizing company such as Instagram aims to keep pushing the envelope, requiring radical changes that not everybody will agree with. Yes, people are entitled to their own opinions; however, being upset just for the sake of being upset won’t help either side. Even more so, I foresee that some of the people verbalizing their anger online would end up continue using Instagram anyways, despite the format change. There is a clear distinction between reacting rashly and providing constructive criticism.

That being said, it’s crucial and essential to maintain a clear line of communication between consumer and developer in which consumer provides honest, critical feedback for the developer to listen responsibly and respond accordingly. It’s okay to be mad, but if you want to see change, you have to be proactive about it. Simply saying you don’t like something isn’t going to change anything. Most of the time, I believe people are scared less of what the change actually is but of the disturbance in expected certainty. Thus, it’s important to distinguish whether you’re genuinely upset or just uncomfortable. Figure out exactly what it is that bothers you. If it’s sheer discomfort, give the new thing a try. If it’s genuine dissatisfaction, state what you don’t agree with and possible ways to address the issue. Of course, with big companies like Instagram, it feels pointless to express your discontent, but what have you got to lose by making your voice heard?

- Julia Eunji Choi -

- @chuliajoi -

Raylene Pereyra