Snapchat’s Redesign Focuses on Friends – And It’s Here to Stay

Snapchat’s Redesign Focuses on Friends – And It’s Here to Stay


The numbers keep growing on the Change.org petition calling for Snapchat to kill its redesign and return the social media platform to what it looked like before late February.

More than a million people have signed the petition encouraging Snap CEO Evan Spiegel to change the popular app back to its original layout, which mixed posts by friends with those from public figures the user follows, rather than keeping them separate, as the revamped version does.

According to Snapchat, the redesign was created to make it “easier to stay in touch with your friends, discover exciting new content from around the world and just use the app in general.”

And much like Facebook, Snapchat is emphasizing friends and family over businesses and celebrities, such as social media influencer Kylie Jenner, part of the Kardashian family. Jenner recently questioned on Twitter whether anyone uses the Snapchat app anymore.

That tweet quickly went viral, shared by Jenner’s 24 million Twitter followers – and it cost Snapchat about $1.3 billion in market value. Jenner later tweeted a clarification that she still liked the app, although that post wasn’t shared nearly as much.

Despite complaints from businesses like Maybelline, it doesn’t sound like Spiegel will be changing Snap’s algorithm back anytime soon. He suggested at a recent Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco that the negative reactions actually prove the change is working as intended.

“Even some of the complaints we’re seeing reinforce the philosophy,” Spiegel told the audience. “So for example, one of the complaints we got was, ‘Wow, I used to feel like this celebrity was my friend and now they don’t feel like my friend anymore.’ And we’re like, ‘Exactly. They’re not your friend!’… So for us, even some of the frustrations we’re seeing really validate those changes.”

During Snap’s Q3 2017 earnings call, Spiegel noted that the redesign will likely be disruptive in the short term, but said the company is “willing to take that risk for what we believe are substantial long-term benefits to our business,” including personalized content.

Snapchat offers a cheat sheet for users to navigate the new update. Highlights include:

  • Friends screen
    • Swipe right from the camera to see your friends’ Snaps, Stories and Chats.
    • If there’s an update, there’s a circular preview next to their name. Tap and watch.
    • View a friend’s profile to rewatch stories. A preview of your next friend’s story will show up next.
    • Group chats have their own Group Story, which anyone in the group can add and save.
    • Your friends appear based on the person you contact the most.
  • Profile screen
    • Manage your stories, add friends, update your settings and more by tapping the icon at the top left
  • My Story
    • According to Snapchat, it’s easier to interact with your Best Friends (up to eight of them), post and share your content. Stories appear on the top of the Sent To screen.
  • Discover screen
    • Swipe left from the camera to open the Discover screen, which will allow you to see content from celebrities (public stories), Snap Map, Popular Stories, and more.

Whether people like the new Snapchat app or not, it seems to be here to stay, and it’s up to users and smart businesses to make the update work for them.


Lisa Day | Contributing Writer


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