Nowadays, when people talk about the internet, what they’re actually talking about is social media. It’s how popular these platforms have become.
Because of that, many tech startups are trying to get into this space. That’s especially after the rise of TikTok, a Chinese company-owned social media platform. It proved that non-western social media platforms could be successful too.
That said, several platforms have been popping up, offering new experiences to users. Of course, the established platforms can’t let the newcomers outdo them, it’s all a competition over followers at the end of the day. They have to keep bringing new experiences for their users to prevent them from flocking to the new exciting app.
Instagram is one platform that has been blatantly trying to shut down newcomers to the scene. When Snapchat came, it cloned it and released Stories. It did the same when TikTok rose.
But when Instagram is not busy copying other platforms, it introduces original features. These features give the app its distinct charms. And lately, Instagram has rolled out a big brand refresh.
Instagram changed its logo and the design layout for its marketing campaigns. But users don’t care about those. However, you may be interested in the biggest change in that update. Instagram launched its own typeface!
Introducing: Instagram Sans
Instagram created its own typeface for its app and marketing campaigns – it is called Instagram Sans. This typeface is inspired by the original Instagram wordmark from 2010 and the update in 2013. Instagram says it “reflects the shape of the glyph and our [Instagram’s] commitment to simplicity and craft.
They aren’t lying about it being reminiscent of the original wordmark. However, we can’t be sure if you can call the typeface 100% simplistic. Its Script variant is stylish and aesthetic. Just look at the typeface’s symbol for “@.” Also, they added touches to make the characters feel more human. For instance, the “t” in Instagram Sans has sheared terminals that suggest the flick of the human hand. The teardrop interior in “a” makes it look “friendly.” And there are unexpected quirks in “Q.”
The typeface features the “in-between moments of a perfect circle and a square,” which they call the “squircle.” Indeed, Instagram Sans is a contemporary remix of grotesque and geometric styles.
While the Instagram Sans Script is stylish like that, the non-cursive fonts are regular sans-serif lettering. That makes sense because Instagram has a global and diverse set of users.
And speaking of that, there’s something about this typeface that will make users from around the world happy. Instagram made it with accessibility in mind. It says it wants to support all of the creators on Instagram and community members who push culture forward.
The company worked with linguists to adapt the typeface to global scripts. That includes Arabic, Thai, and Japanese. So, users can use fonts to express themselves fully in their preferred language.
A Move To Combat TikTok?
Meta is betting so much in Reels. The tech giant wants the product to overthrow TikTok as the go-to platform for short-form video content. It even made an Instagram Creators account on TikTok to promote Reels!
So, it would not surprise anybody if this brand refresh was for battling the ByteDance-owned platform. Some of the fonts included in this typeface are a little extra. And you can’t find those characters anywhere else. Thus, when you see those characters, you immediately think of Instagram. And when they’re in short-form videos, then you think of Reels.
That’s a clever move from Instagram. And yes, in case you are wondering, users can try these fonts in Stories and Reels. That may encourage users to upload original short-form content rather than re-uploading TikToks to try these new fonts.
That seems to be the trend, and you can also see it on Facebook Reels, Instagram/Facebook Stories, and even in YouTube Shorts. Many people download their or someone else’s TikTok videos and then re-upload them to another platform. That means the new platforms are losing to TikTok. Thus, Instagram must stop that trend.
While this new typeface may not stop that trend entirely, it’s still a step towards that. So, it’s a good move for Instagram.
How Would Users React to More “Squircles”?
Right now, you can find this typeface in Instagram Stories, Reels, and promotional content published by Instagram. But what if they appear in more places and become inescapable? How will the users react to that?
You may recall that Facebook launched a new interface design two years ago. And people’s reaction to that was not positive. Some expressed displeasure, while others have straight-up thrown hatred.
That said, the company knows how users of its platform react to change. So, there is a chance users will react like that if the new fonts become ubiquitous on Instagram.
It could be that Instagram is being careful, so that would not happen. Thus, the slow rollout of changes rather than the instant overhaul. It’s a smart move, especially since its relationship with the content creators on the platform is a bit sour.
Creators who perfected taking aesthetic photos and long captions are fuming. They feel like Instagram has abandoned them to push Reels forward. The platform does not recommend their square photos to users anymore. Instead, it forces Reels down users’ throats anywhere it can.
Also, Meta CEO said Instagram is testing a new interface for Instagram. It will feature a full-screen feed that resembles TikTok. But unlike TikTok, there would still be photos on the platform. Zuckerberg said it’s a move to make it easier to discover content and connect to followers and friends on Instagram.
Based on people’s reactions, which they posted on Twitter, they don’t like that change. They are even asking Instagram to return to what it was before all of this – before it lost its identity.
That said, it may not be wise for Instagram to continue that update. However, there are no signs that say the platform plans not to continue it. So, while this new typeface is great, it may mark the start of the end of Instagram.
Date: March 14, 2023 / Categories: Interesting, / Author: solmae