Instagram’s Latest Updates

I don’t usually post rants about anything, but with Instagram’s latest update it was hard not to. I have to say that I use the app everyday since I first got it back in April 2011, so I have seen alot of the changes over the past year and a half or so. For the most part they have been for the better but the latest one is questionable.

Instagram Interface

Following Tab
In the latest update, there’s now 3 possible layouts in which the content may be displayed. I understand this is probably to save space but I find it unnecessary and inconsistent.

A – If someone your following likes multiple photos the images are left aligned and shown under the users thumbnail, name and time stamp.
B – However if someone likes only 1 photo the image is now shown to the right of the users thumbnail and name.
C – If 2 friends like the same photo from someone, than neither one of the users thumbnails are shown.

The previous versions of Instagram always displayed the liked photos underneath the users information. The new version makes it confusing since the photos are sometimes on the left and other times on the right.

Instagram Thumbnail Size

Thumbnail Size
With the 3 different layouts comes 3 different thumbnail sizes.

A – When someone likes multiple photos the thumbnails are 144×144 pixels.
B – If a user likes 1 photo, and both names of the user and the person who took the photo fits on 2 lines of copy the image size is 104×104.
C – However, if the copy is longer than 2 lines the image size stays the same but padding starts to build under the image. The height of the padding varies depending on the number of lines for that photo.

I mentioned earlier the inconsistent layout might be to save some space but then how come when only 1 photo is liked that thumbnail appears to be smaller? If their trying to save space, which at this point maybe they aren’t, shouldn’t all the thumbnails be 104×104?

Instagram Thumbnail Margins

A – When a user likes multiple photos, there’s padding on the left, right and bottom of the thumbnails.
B – If only 1 image is liked and the copy is only 2 lines, the image has no padding to the right or the bottom.
C – When the copy has more than 2 lines the image stays the same but the padding under the image varies depending on how many lines of text there are.

By having one image on the right side the width of the text area gets smaller and starts to stack into more rows leaving a ton of wasted space under the image.

Instagram Thumbnail Styles

Thumbnail Style
A – When multiple photos are shown, the thumbnail has an inner shadow on the top, left and right side. The bottom of the image has a white stroke.
B – If only 1 image is shown, the thumbnail suddenly loses the shadow on the right side of the image and the stroke at the bottom turns gray.

Instagram Interface

Uploading Photos
The new interface for taking and uploading photos is another area that’s a bit of a mess. The older versions were simple and effective, but with the new design I’m not sure the style really matches anything on Instagram. Where did this weird techy, bevel and emboss style come from? By adding an unnecessary animation to have the gray box open up to reveal the camera, it’s actually delaying the time to take a photo.

There also seems to be what I’m suspecting, 2 different versions of the logo on the same screen. The one at the bottom is what we’re all accustomed to seeing and the one in the middle looks like an outline of the areas that are cut out.

A – The flash on the camera is squared and the logo seems to use Bevel and Emboss
B – The flash on the camera uses rounded corners and the style seems to be inner shadow

Instagram Crop

Selecting Photos
When you select a photo to upload, the header reads Scale & Crop with a crop button on the right. The question is what if you want to upload the photo as is without scaling or cropping, would this really make sense? In the previous versions ‘crop’ was replaced by ‘next’ which seems to work better.

A – Photo selected with no scaling or cropping.
B – If I want to scale up or zoom in on a certain part of the photo then the title makes sense, but if I want to go with A than it doesn’t.

Again, as I mentioned I use Instagram almost daily and I feel the latest updates could have been thought-out a little better. Also, their new privacy policy is something that’s disturbing alot of people but that’s another can of worms.