A Designer Imagined How Awful Instagram Would Have Been on Windows 95

Image by Misha Petrick

Instagram, one of the internet’s most popular ways to brag about what food was just placed in front of you, might not have become as popular as it is today if were it introduced back when Windows 95 was the operating system of choice. As designer Misha Petrick reveals, it would have been a hot mess 20 years ago.


Windows 95's limited color palette and pixelated fonts, coupled with the minimal processing power of desktop PCs 20 years ago, would have resulted in a disappointing selection of filters as well as a feed limited to animated GIFs and low-res clipart.

How are you supposed to make your followers jealous of the fancy restaurant you’re dining at, or the beach you’re lounging on, when the best image you can share is that stupid dancing baby GIF?

[Instagram - Misha Petrick via designboom]


I completely get that this is a joke. However, this is an interpretation by someone too young to know what that era was actually like. What we’re seeing here is 5+ years of computing mashed into a caricature.

This look is more Windows 3.1 or DOS than Windows 95 and I can’t imagine an app like this even existing back then because of various technical limitations.