As time passes, even the biggest and most popular applications get further away from their original looks.
Changes in consumers’ aesthetic preferences and heightened expectations for app usability urge companies to invest in updates to interfaces, so that they gradually evolve to meet demand.
So what did some of the most popular apps look like when they first launched? Here are some vintage versions of your favorite apps and websites.
Samantha Cooney contributed to an earlier version of this post.
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The original homepage for Facebook (née “thefacebook”) is fairly well-known, thanks to the Oscar-nominated origin story “The Social Network.” The site’s most famous feature was the anonymous face in the upper left hand corner, which was later revealed to be a manipulated image of actor Al Pacino. After logging in, users were taken to a welcome page with no scroll option, rather than a feed of updates from friends and companies.
Instagram’s original 2011 logo wasn’t updated until the photo-sharing app unveiled a new one in 2016, but the app changed constantly. In addition to adding more filter options, the direct-messaging capability, and horizontal pictures (instead of exclusively showing pictures in squares) Instagram removed the bars from the top and the bottom of the feed and removed all of the black backgrounds from the other screens.
When Uber debuted a new logo in 2016, many were quick to make snarky comments about the clunky design (the logo has changed again, now with a black background instead of that blue web). The first iteration of the Uber app, then known as UberCab, was far worse in terms of both logo and usability. The basics were there (enter your credit card info and location and then call a car), but it featured a bright red logo and a less refined interface.