Instagram 2.5.0 update version: Is it really the end of the Popular Page?

Instagram 2.5.0 update version: Is it really the end of the Popular Page?

Instagram 2.5.0 update: is it really the end of the Popular Page?


Instagram 2.5.0. So what’s new?


Last night, like every night, I was having “my last look” at Instagram  before going to bed (as probably every single Iger does). I suddenly discovered on our Instagramers London @IgersLondon feed a pic mentioning the New Instagram 2.5.0 version available at Appstore.

It caught my attention as the pic said “Goodbye” to “Popular” , welcome to “Discover” (see pic right)


What?!? Instagram without its Pop Page?


At first I wondered if this could be true! Since its beginnings Instagram’s bio-rythm was based around the Pop Page! It gave us specific “social recognition” , or our own “trending topics” also known as “Populars” or the “Pop Page”. This page was the first point of reference for most Igers!

I quickly downloaded the new version of our fav photo-sharing app to find out what it was all about.

First, this new version 2.5.0 of Instagram seems to be only for i.OS at the moment. (download here) and the official blog explains some of the new features.
  • Revamped profile tab (Phil: the app has squarer angles and a new tab bar font)
  • Search for users and tags in the Explore tab (Phil: this means you now search for other users and tags on the new “Explore” page not on your profile page)
  • Improvements to commenting (Phil: Amongst others, a “wider dialogue space” very similar to Facebook’s)
  • User search autocompletes based on people you follow  (Phil: Very useful and similar to one of Twitter‘s best features)
  • Visual improvements (Phil: Mostly in Profile, Tab Bar, look and feel of angles and fonts. Note too, that in your personal profile if you have thousand followers it will turn to 25k, 30k and you wont be able to knnow the daily increase of your amount of followers)
  • Faster (Phil: Probably true as the target of an app is to keep on improving this side that means “servers cost savings too” . Difficult to confirm from a mobile)
  • Optionally share likes to Facebook (enable in your Profile > Sharing Settings > Facebook) (Phil: Nice feature quite understandable after Facebook bought Instagram few months ago)
Just one point that drew my attention.  New Fonts in Header and “dialogues wider spaces” looks very much like Facebook App Interface… Was it in purpose? Or just a coincidence?

Is it really the End of the Popular Page?

Every change looks pretty cool and “predictable” but I wanted to underline something in particular on the Popular Page.
The Popular page has not only changed its name to Explore but the previous “Star” in the Footer Tab Bar as been replaced by a Compass Icon. Maybe it’s not a big deal, maybe it’s a desure to move towards more “geoloc” recommendations. We will probably see changes in the next few months as “Explore” refers to “Geography” and “GeoLocation” more than to “Awards, Likes or Recognition.

Popular or Explore?

But leaving aside the impact that this change might have on users’ egos or their personal feelings, it is probably more significant in terms of Instagram’s strategy. It may suggeset Instagram is slowly moving from a pops, likes and followers based eco-system to a new way of highlighting specific people. 
We should remember that users’ initial engagement with Instagram was probably boosted greatly by the Popular Page. What will happen to new users’ engagement if the Pop Page doesn’t exist any more?  How will “newbies” react without that curious desire to hit the Pop Page?
Most old users like me recognize that the Pop Page had lost its interest some time ago and felt that Instagram had a serious problem in maintaining a coherent Pop Page.
After monitoring the new Explore page for a few hours, it does not really look like a major change on the old Pop Page and it probably still has the same software back end (see lots of cats and nails stars! lol) but I’m sure in the near future the Instagram team will work to slowly changing our way of enjoying Instagram that isn’t based around likes and follwers.
Personally, I’m happy about this decision. However, I will perhaps have to review my top ranking article on this blog:  “How to become Popular in Instagram?” Lol.
Let’s Explore Instagram!



  1. Yep Friend… My thinking of Pop Page since Android led the number of Instagram members to explode is the same of Yours. Indeed I often wrote to Instagram Support (I’ve a open ticket so I can write an email directly) to propose my two cents… For example, how it would be if they permitted only one or two pictures on Pop per member, per day? I think there will be more “free space” to host pictures of other users… nowadays in fact there are a bunch of members that could place even 10 picture on Pop in one day; in this way they earn much more *active* followers (active followers give likes, ghosts give nothing) and they can reach the Pop page even more easily the next time.

    Do You think we could do a petition with our communities about this?

    Way to go Phil!

    • Everyone please follow me! @RhysLovesEllie @RhysLovesEllie

  2. Great recap of the updates Phil…My opinion. The “Explore” page is still the pop page. If you look at the pics on that page, it is still the same crap that was on the pop page yesterday…Since the droid users entered the IG world (and not blaming droid by any means, and I actually think it was way before that too) the pop page has not been about photography. You can look at the pop page at any given time and see the following:
    * A dog
    * A Cat
    * A pic of someone’s nails and or jewelry
    * A stolen pic from the internet (they are VERY easy to spot)
    * A Douche Bag / teenage girl posing in front of the mirror
    (don’t believe me..go look right now)

    I like the fact that you can search for different hash tags from it now..but for those (like myself) who would love nothing more then to go to the pop (explore) page and see truly great and inspiring photos, those days are gone…Other apps like Streamzoo and Tadaa will be the same way…

    I will stop venting now… Thanks for always keeping us up to date.

  3. I am totally agree with you guys.

    Explore page has the same pictures as the popular page, maybe even with more nails and less cats. LOL!!! I cannot remember the last time I navigate through the popular page, it is useless…. it is ok if you want to see cats and duck faces on a mirror. I know that instagram it is not like 500px.com but I think that an editor’s choice section in the new explore page could find more fans that the actual pop page.

    The good point of the explore page is the way we can search for users or tags easily. We do not need any more to enter in the settings to do a simple tag search. +1

    Thanks for the updates.

  4. Few things on this.
    You may not have noticed – hopefully it is not the ongoing smirk or forgetfulness that *some* iPhone IGers have about the android part of this community – but this update arrived SIMULTANEOUSLY on iOS and on Android, on the 25th of June, labeled 2.5.0 on iOS and 1.1.4 on Android.

    So I don’t see where mr. Phil Gonzalez got the idea that this content was exclusive to iPhone, as all of the new features are fully implemented also on the latest Android upgrade.
    Maybe a lack of attention similar to write “Discover” to the place of “Explore” which is pretty clear by the picture posted?
    It can happen, I’m sure.

    With that sorted, my other 2 cents.
    Onto the Popular page… I think we all agree that unless someone is a teen or a follower hoarder the Popular page mania is pretty forgetable and also some different algoritm to filter user’s presence in the Po- ahem Explore Page would be welcomed.

    What I can’t understand is saying that Photography (or Phoneography if we want to feel hip and up to date) is not a “cat” or a “dog”, “self-portrait” or such.
    I mean, tweetgram are a bit stupid (but can be fun at times) and stolen pictures from the net are really ridiculous, ok; I’d like to add also how lame is to take pics with a Canon Eos 5D, fix the pics with Photoshop and then upload them to IG… I mean, really? You do really need to do this?
    But, beside this… who are we to say that a cat, or a dog or a stupid self-portrait is not photography?
    I’m sure someone could also reply on the same lines that Mapplethorpe photography is shallow pornography, then.
    A great photo of a cat is great photography, an ugly one is ugly or bad photography.
    No matter what, obviously filtered by tastes and contexts.

    And this is the first part of it.
    The second part of it is a reminder that Instagram is not *only* about photography.
    I mean, it can be, if you want to and surely using Instagram one can became enamoured with photography, but it seems we are forgetting what Instagram is: a wonderful tool to “share” pictures of our lives and our interests to friends or even strangers.

    Instagram is a social network of its own, it is not just a photographic collective platform.
    I mean you can also look at it that way, but the sharing is the motor of all of this.
    For good or bad the quality of pictures and their value as photography is a welcome and praised matter but it is neither a necessity nor an obligation.

    My regards,
    Angelo Allegra

    P.S.: apologies for my english.

    • Angelo, I think You not need to apology for Your English at all. Said that, I quote everything of Yours from Your 4th paragraph on. On the contrary I maintain my position saying that Pop page should not collect always pics from the same authors: once or twice a day is pretty enough for everybody, also for Jessica Alba… more free slots means possibility also for newbies.


      • No no Gianpiero, I wasn’t maybe clear enough, I agree with you, there should be a sort of filter limiting each user possibility to gain access to Pop/Exp page in a determinate range of time.

        I mean, if you think about it, a system based on merit would mean that the best looking pictures would always be on the P/E page, so usually the same and same authors would be there, although with millions of IGers you would not notice it *that* much – and I think noone can argue against the validity of the best photographers being always up there.
        So limiting each user to a maximum amount of pics in the P/E page for let’s say 1 hour or 3 hour period slots would really sound like “lowering to the minimum to satisfy everyone”.
        This is all theoretical though.

        Actually the reality is that not always pictures on the P/E page are top pictures, not because of the subject of the picture as I already mentioned in my previous comment, but because maybe they are from famous people, celebrities and a whole mass of followers do click “Like” as adoring cyborgs (or androids, LOL ;) ) no matter what the quality and interesting value of the picture itself is.
        So, filtering in the way you proposed is afterall a decent idea, maybe to be played with in order to find the right balance to it, but still a very decent idea!


  5. The new Explore page is the same as the Popular. Same crap (hot women, stupid shirtless guys, cats, finger nails). BORING.

  6. Cannot find photos u have liked is it there or is it gone?

    • Official news from Instagram:

      “As of Friday evening of June 29, 2012, Instagram has been experiencing technical difficulties.

      An electrical storm in Virginia has affected most of our servers, and our team of engineers is working hard to restore service.

      Thank you for your support and patience!”

  7. With the new version, I don’t think there is a way of deleting a photo :/ does anyone know?

  8. Popular page was almost always crap – basically boobs and kitties. It’s like there are two layers of users on IG: the ones who just love to share their pictures and those who just carve for some awkward feeling of virtual ego booster caused by a picture posted by them (it may even be a repost from orher users) showing up on the popular page. And it is a shame because the most talented and interesting users are usually on the first layer. But the second layer users are filling IG with “kiks” and “shoutouts” crap. Some of these idiots even keep streams full of this instead of pictures. Why one would want an app where everyone just “kiks” everyone?! Isn’t that bizarre? I think it is! I would prefer when we just had boobies everywhere on the popular page..

  9. Hey, all my likes on Instagram have disappear, is that normal? I had like +500 likes and all of them are gone.

  10. At first I wondered if this could be true! Since its beginnings Instagram’s bio-rythm was based around the Pop Page! It gave us specific “social recognition” , or our own “trending topics” also known as “Populars” or the “Pop Page”. This page was the first point of reference for most Igers! I quickly downloaded the new version of our fav photo-sharing app to find out what it was all about.

  11. I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the buy real instagram followers concept. Thank you for the post.



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