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!
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The Popular page has not only changed its name to Explore but the previous “Star” in the Footer Tab Bar as been replaced by a Compass Icon.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.