Announced at the end of 2017, the new Snapchat update specifically involves distinguishing personal contacts from professional users by putting friends’ stories and chats on the left side of the app while professional Stories are located on the right.
However, general feedback concerning the new design has been primarily critical.
According to TechCrunch, 83 percent of user reviews, amounting to about 1,941 of 2,332 total, are overwhelmingly negative.
Paisley Adams, junior art education major, has also found the update to be unsatisfactory. She mentioned that it is an inconvenience to see ads and stories that she does not to watch on her homepage.
Adams expressed frustration with how the stories are presented in the new design, saying that it is easy to click on the wrong person’s story. She also dislikes the way the continuous stories skip right to the next story.
Adams believes that the changes hinder the app due to the focus on less personal communication.
“It was really intended formerly as a quicker form of communication and now it’s hindered by ‘look at all these tabloids [and ads]’ and how hard it is to send an individual person something,” she said.
Users have reported annoyance at how stories are now scattered in the Snapchat inbox with message threads in between instead of being laid out together, as in the previous design.
The redesign’s current layout, where the stories by professionals and celebrities who do not follow the user are located by the discover section, has also elicited confusion over being able to tell who has posted recently, TechCrunch reports.
Sydney Schoff, junior communication major, agrees with the negative response toward the new design.
“I don’t like people I’m snapchatting appearing in the same place as people I barely know,” she said.
Robert Foschia, adjunct professor of communication, has heard the negative opinions concerning the new layout, such as being unable to find people easily or to play the videos back.
“I’ve seen a couple articles where they try to make it so you’re able to find friends more but I don’t think anyone’s able or figured it out yet just yet,” Foschia said.
Foschia believes that although Snapchat has tried to do other features such as Snapcash, recording photos and videos is their original trademark.
“I think getting back [and sticking] to the central thing is what they did well,” Foschia said.
According to their official blog, Snapchat intended for the update “to separate content by friends and professionals.” Until then, it claimed, social media had always mixed the two.
“While blurring the lines between professional content creators and your friends has been an interesting internet experiment, it has also produced some strange side-effects such as fake news […]” TeamSnap said, also elaborating that people felt the need to perform for friends rather than being themselves.
The TechCrunch website reports that Snapchat had hoped for the redesign to boost their lackluster revenue which previously had “led to a loss of $443 million,” and failed to reach Wall Street earnings expectations.
Additionally, the updates were incorporated by Snapchat to rival their competitor, Instagram, whose own “stories” caused a lack of sharing rates in the already-present ads on Snapchat, leading to the decision to mix more ads into the messaging inbox.
Adams suggested that the best way to handle the new design is to go back to the old one.
Variety reports that over one million people have signed an online petition for Snapchat to get rid of the new design.
According to Express website, the redesign has led many users to switch completely to using Instagram and eighty-percent of tweets concerning Snapchat negatively concern the change.
Although many users have expressed dissent, Snapchat has denied requests to revert to the old design, deeming it “not possible,” according to TechCrunch.
Instead, the company has maintained a Twitter presence, attempting to convince users to continue using the app as well as providing advice on how to navigate properly.
TechCrunch also reports that the company, while unable to change back, has agreed to address user complaints by making additional changes to the “friends” and “discover” section.
Despite the backlash, Snapchat has continued to stand behind its new design.
Evan Spiegel, Snapchat CEO, indicates that he believes users simply need time to become used to the update.
“It’ll take time for people to adjust, but for me using it for a couple months, I feel way more attached to the service,” Spiegel said.
Photos: The Verge; SVC Flickr