TL;DR: Snapchat’s new redesign, announced in November is rolling out in the UK, Australia and the U.S. The update is meant to make the app more personal and easier to use, but has left some users frustrated.
In an effort to increase usership, Snapchat has released its new redesign to users. We have a page-by-page round up of all these updates:
The biggest change in the app is what Snapchat is calling a separation between “social and media.” Content created by professional publishers, celebrities and influencers are now located on a page separate from all communication with friends. Being one of the biggest sources of revenue for Snap Inc. and its partners, separating Discover from interactions with friends is possibly a big push to move users to spend more time with publisher content.
According to Business Insider, advertisers will be able to buy promoted Story slots that live on Discover. Additionally, through an algorithm, Discover pushes content that you are most likely to be interested in toward the top of the page. The most popular published content with users will be accessible to users to discover new content. Users can pick and choose what content they want to see with options to “See less like this.” Updates to the Discover page means that more relevant content is getting in front of the right audiences with potential for businesses to target specific users in the future.
Updates to the Friends page are meant to consolidate all of communication between users to improve the experience. All aspects of the friend interactions, including new Snaps, Group Chats, Stories, Friend Emojis and Bitmojis are now all located in one place. According to a blog post from Snapchat, friends that appear at the top are prioritized through an algorithm that analyzes who you are interacting with most and how.
Friends with an active Story will show up as a thumbnail to tap to view. If that user doesn’t currently have one (or you have already watched it), a Bitmoji will take its place. After viewing a friends Story an “Up Next” preview will appear, where users have the option to view another friend’s Story or exit out. One of the biggest Story updates being that Group Chats will now have its own Group Story, which only members can add to.
While the Friends page is seperate from publishers, ads still appear between friends Stories and making separation between “social and media” not so clean.
Send to Page
The Send To page now features all Story options users can add to at the top, including Your Story, all Group Stories and Snapchat’s Our Story. Best Friends are located below, but are still only visible to you with recents and the rest of your friends underneath.
A new privacy feature was also introduced on the Send To page where users have the option to make their Story viewable to their friends only or to anyone that follows them. With an added search feature this might make it easier for users to find brands they follow on other platforms or discover new ones.
Users can manage all their Stories from their profile, including their own and any Group Story they belong to. With the update, users can now only look back at Stories they’ve made and see who has viewed from their profile. Brands will be able to monitor Stories that have they’ve published and gain real time insights into what worked and what didn’t.
Along with its rollout of updates, Snapchat announced that while users still will not be able to live-stream, the platform would support live-streams from major televised events, the first of which includes the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in partnership with NBCUniversal. (Television in the palm of your hand? Sounds familiar to us.)
Multiple advertisers have purchased sponsorships for Snapchat’s Olympic content. Users will even be able to access schedules, news and track athletes and different countries within the app.
The update is intended to be more user friendly, but users that have received the new update have hit back on Twitter with frustration, threatening to delete the app, calling it confusing and tedious. Some trying to find a way to reverse the update to its previous version.
Despite the backlash, Snap Inc. recently reported higher than projected quarterly earnings and user growth up from 2.9 percent to 5 percent last quarter. The increase pleased investors resulting in Snap Inc’s stock spiking nearly 25 percent overnight. Read more about the numbers here.
While the redesign might take awhile for users to get accustomed to, the update has potential to save Snap if Snapchat pivots and adds more targeted ad options for advertisers — something that Facebook did long ago to rake in the big bucks. However, if users don’t adapt, advertisers will choose to spend their money elsewhere.
In the meantime… bring in the dancing hotdogs!