If you started using computers in the 90s, odds are, Windows 95 holds a special place in your heart. It was a truly revolutionary operating system for Microsoft and it introduced many of us to the earliest shades of what a modern desktop on a computer looks like. But what if some of the social media platforms we know and love from today had existed back when Windows 95 was king of the home computer? Specifically, how would Instagram have looked? We need no longer wonder, as someone has perfectly imagined Instagram for Windows 95 and it is likely to get you feeling a little nostalgic.
This awesome bit of imagination, which he calls Instagram for Win95, comes from Russian artist Misha Petrick and he pretty much nailed it. While he couldn't actually make a version of Instagram that runs on Windows 95, what he's done is made some gifs that show us what Instagram 95 would have looked like. The really interesting thing is that, all things considered, it looks like Instagram. Sure, the borders and bars are pretty boxy and, obviously, there are no high-def photos or videos to be seen, but the Instagram layout is all there. It looks like Instagram, but in the 90s.
One of the gifs reveals that one would get a very familiar pop-up window, for those that used Windows 95, every time you got likes/followers. The retro version of a notification on your smartphone or desktop. Instead of videos, there would be simple animations and very basic photos. He even decided to include an absolutely perfect Windows 95 install disc for Instagram, which is absolutely how the program would have had to be installed since you couldn't really download major programs from the web at that time. That raises a lot of questions as to how the whole social networking thing would have even worked in 1995, but that's not really the point.
Windows 95 was released in 1995 by Microsoft and changed the game. It was a massive improvement over Windows 3.1. It introduced us to the taskbar, the start button (that only recently went away) and the general way that one navigates a computer's desktop were all born with Windows 95. On the flipside, Instagram was introduced to the world in 2010 and rapidly became one of the most popular social networking sites on the planet. Now being Instagram famous is a thing and it's pretty easy to share pictures with your friends of stuff you're eating for brunch. So, they both featured their own forms of innovation.
As spot-on as this representation of a retro version of Instagram may be, in practice, it probably wouldn't be all that satisfying. All of the modern appeal of Instagram, and most of the practicality, would go out the window due to the limitations of the software. But still, this is really fun to look at. If you want to check out all of Petrick's Instagram for Win95 work, be sure to click on the link. You can also check out some of the gifs for yourself below.