ImageShack’s yfrog – best known as a platform for sharing images on Twitter – has recently undergone a logo redesign, abandoning its frog imagery for a series of speech bubbles instead.
Of course, the recurring comment among critics is, “Where’s the frog?” As Brand New explains, a logo certainly doesn’t have to literally reflect its name, “but when the name includes the word ‘frog’ it seems to me like there are dozens of visual ideas that could be exploited. Instead we have a circle of speech bubbles.”
While the new logo is tremendously more professional-looking, it’s also quite generic. However, there may be a reason: yfrog is attempting to transform into a “full-fledged social platform,” with profiles, commenting, and “other accoutrements of sharing and liking.” Like a platform dedicated to MySpace layout customization would have faded into obscurity as soon as MySpace did, yfrog’s success is almost entirely linked to that of Twitter. Not that Twitter is necessarily dying any time soon, but it seems sensible for such a niche platform to expand its service to help it stand on its own. The internet is flooded with similar Twitter-dedicated photo-sharing platforms, including the massive TwitPic, and yfrog may be attempting to differentiate itself.
A look through the comments on Brand New provide a lot of interesting critiques, suggestions, and insight on yfrog’s logo change:
“If they were going for the thoughtless literal representation why didn’t they at least mold the speech bubbles closer together and tilted it to give it perspective and WHAM you [got] yourself a lilypad, ‘a platform for social networkers to LEAP from’…”
“Seems like there was a huge missed opportunity here to do something cool with the frog croaking… if they were intent on the ‘speech/dialog/networking’ concept. Frogs croaking is more exciting than this logo.”
“[I’m] a bit worried that everyone would have designed this with a frog in the logo. That would be way too literal and far too abstract from what the company actually does. Maybe I’m missing something here, but how is a frog related to this service?”
“A significant improvement but very generic.”