A rollout of a new Amazon applications logo in early 2021 sparked online criticism after some social media users pointed out that the technology company’s tell-tale blue tape positioned above an arrow-like smile expressed similarities to a mustache worn by Adolf Hitler.
My parents use Amazon nearly every day. They’re going to be lost for the next few days. When they ask where Amazon’s gone, I’ll tell them to look for the cardboard Hitler… https://t.co/u1YcJUBNSN
— Smutchings (@Smutchings) January 26, 2021
I see Hitler smirking https://t.co/rQvLVWYkCZ
— —————— (@xxcrivvvssjcb) January 26, 2021
And some social media users speculated that the American multinational e-commerce company promptly switched its redesign to counter online criticism, including The Guardian technology editor Alex Hern.
lmao I completely missed that amazon quietly tweaked its new icon to make it look… less like hitler pic.twitter.com/Jh8UC8Yg3u
— alex hern (@alexhern) March 1, 2021
The new icon for the application launched in the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands on iOS on Jan. 25 and worldwide on iOS on Feb 22. On Android, the icon launched on March 1. But the icon in question was in select countries, and according to an Amazon spokesperson, the company made changes to the original design based on customer feedback before it was rolled out worldwide.
Amazon did not directly comment on whether the change was spurred by online comparisons to Hitler’s mustache. Instead, a spokesperson sent Snopes the below comment:
“Amazon is always exploring new ways to delight our customers,” they said. “We designed the new icon to spark anticipation, excitement, and joy when customers start their shopping journey on their phone, just as they do when they see our boxes on their doorstep.”
This is the first update to the global mobile icon in more than five years and will be visible to customers once their phone applications are updated. It joins new functional updates to the app, including a new bottom navigation, simplified top navigation, and a new color scheme.
“The mobile app icon is designed to be instantly recognizable to our customers around the world,” Amazon told Snopes in an email. “The new design features a brown delivery package and a hint of tape as the backdrop for the Amazon smile, which is now recognized around the world.”