A foolish consistency.

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,
adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Instagram has responded quickly to Apple’s release of iOS7 operating system update with a nicely done revision of its popular iPhone app. But I can’t help agreeing with John Gruber in this regard:

Nice job overall, but I think making avatars (a.k.a. profile pictures) circular is a mistake. Sure, that’s what Apple is doing with them in Messages and Contacts, but I don’t think there’s anything inherently 7-y about circular avatars. And for Instagram in particular, it breaks a certain elegance — your avatar was the same thing as a post, a square image. –
John Gruber @ Daring Fireball

I’ll take his argument one step further: Instagram’s use of circular graphic elements is an example of Emerson’s “foolish consistency” to iOS7 (and a big inconsistency with Instagram’s own brand standards.)

Why? Because if Instagram has or can claim a shape, it’s a square as Gruber points out. So much so that Apple incorporated a square aspect ratio into its own Photo app within the iOS7 update. Not only that, the app also now includes filters just like Instagram.

Instagram’s effect on Apple is readily apparent in iOS7. Why Instagram chose to incorporate Apple’s iOS7 circle element rather than retain and enhance their own brand’s square identity is beyond me.

Want to place a bet on how long it takes Instagram to realize and rectify this situation?
I’m starting a pool.

-dp

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