August 27, 2020

IGTV Launch

Sarah Frier’s No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram closes with the launch of IGTV. One anecdote regarding the app icon caught my attention.

An hour after presenting, Systrom was reminded of Facebook too. His iPhone flashed with his new boss’s name, and he went to a quiet spot to take the call. Good, he thought. Even if Cox and Zuckerberg weren’t attending the event, they were at least acknowledging the accomplishment. He swiped to answer.

We have a problem,” Cox said. Mark’s very angry about your icon.”

Are you serious? What’s wrong?” Systrom asked.

It looks too much like the icon for Facebook Messenger.” The IGTV logo had a sideways lightning bolt shape inside a TV-shaped box. The Messenger logo had a similar bolt, but inside a cartoon dialogue balloon.

After the drama of the day, there was no praise from on high—only Zuckerberg’s concern that Instagram would step on Facebook’s branding.

This similarity did not occur to me. Take a look for yourself.

Each icon includes a lightning bolt, but they are different enough to not be confusing. However, one wonders if the IGTV design team was winking, nodding, waving, or sneering at the Facebook Messenger team.

This reminds me of when Facebook Places launched in 2010. Facebook partnered with Foursquare and Gowalla on their new product for sharing your location. But, if you look closely at the Places icon, you’ll notice the Places icon includes a 4” inside of a square. Were the Places designers winking or sneering at Foursquare?

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