Why do we get so upset when our apps update?

In case you haven’t realised, a few of our most used social media apps have gone through some major changes lately, with more proposed.  Instagram changed it’s logo.  Snapchat revealed a redesign and new look, although maintained functionality.  Instagram then changed it’s algorithm so posts you care about most will appear first, rather than being in chronological order.  Facebook have suggested newsfeeds organised by topic.  These changes have caused many users to be upset and I wondered why…

On the face of it, us users of these apps, downloaded the app for free.  We have continued to use it (for free) for the last couple of years.  It has become a habit for us to check each of them the minute we wake and the moment before we sleep.  We are reliant on these apps for our daily news and to keep in touch with our friends and family.  Through our loyal use to these apps, we feel they owe us something.  But frankly, they don’t.

I think the reason we get so upset by these changes to our apps is because we are creatures of habit.  These updates take us by surprise.  We like to jump to conclusions and believe change will make us worse off.  We also like the easy option and the moment these apps change, it causes us to think about something we previously didn’t think about. We don’t like that.

But I think we need to consider what would happen if these apps didn’t evolve.  What if they were still the same as their original versions? Didn’t change since launch? Would we still love them the way we do now? The answer is probably not.  Think about it like roadworks.  We hate being held up with them, but we also like new roads and infrastructure.  Facebook originally had a chronological timeline and we have all adjusted.

Although our favourite apps don’t owe us anything, these are ways they could make this change a little easier. They could make public announcements to prepare us and make us see the good in the change. However they don’t need to as I don’t believe they would be losing users over it (or many to care about).  And plus, the way we feel about change at the moment, if Instagram announced another change we would be afraid and possibly move away in droves! So maybe the surprise element works…

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