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Psychology of Color in Social Media

Twitter’s distinctive light blue is reminiscent of the blue sky, appropriate with a bird as their logo.

Blue captures a lot of what social companies want to promote. Many social media sites are different shades of it. Blue suggests modernity, innovation, dependability, and sense of calm and easy communication. Blue is also a very popular color in general, with both men and women favoring it over many others.

LinkedIn, being a business social media website, would most certainly want to utilize blue to promote an idea of company innovation.

Interestingly, Facebook is blue just because the founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is red-green colorblind. It’s the color he can see relatively well.

Tumblr’s darker hue of blue is most suitable for highlighting the multimedia content that is uploaded to its platforms. The focus is more on the content rather than the communication focus of other platforms like Facebook.

Instagram features a red gradient on much of their branding reminiscent of a sunset. As Instagram focuses on a variety of images, many of nature such as sunsets, this definitely makes sense with their branding.

But what about YouTube? YouTube is a social media site but it has a red color scheme, which is associated with online news (I.e, BuzzFeed, CNN). This is most likely associated with red as a psychological color for excitement and entertainment. While it is a social media site, many go on YouTube to be entertained.

Snapchat is a peculiar shift from the norms of all the online color schemes. Snapchat is a bright yellow. Bright yellow is the go-to eye-sore color of the bright website trend of the 90s. Here, however, yellow may be highlighting the impermanence of the platform’s content and the dismissal of traditional social media communication.

Above all, designs should be memorable and eye-catching. Different colors serve different communicative purposes based on the platform’s mission. Social media sites are also moving towards the trend of optional dark modes in replacement of the standard white backdrop.

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