Some social media outlets like to start the year with a big bang and that was definitely true for Snapchat and 2018. Snap Inc. surprised their users with not so great news as it turned out. Some of the core functionalities of their application were changed and this action left users really confused.
In order to understand why the latest Snapchat update had such a huge backlash, we need to understand what users actually liked in the previous version.
The old version
The conversation window that most users looked at as the main window of the app was on the left of the camera screen and this was the place where users interacted with each other. With just one click of the button, people could start a conversation, start a video or audio call, send direct snaps or check if the particular friend updated their story recently. And the most important thing was the chronological order of this section.
Another big feature that went under the major overhaul was “Stories” part of the Snapchat. In the previous version, it was placed on the right side of the camera section and contained the stories uploaded by the people that the user follow. This section was already updated with some not really thought out functionalities when Snapchat introduced promoted stories which are basically advertisements from various big brands that are targeted to the specific users according to their behavior but this move was reasonable because it was the way for the company to make more money. And again, this feature was sorted chronologically.
The new version
For some strange reason, people at Snap Inc. thought that merging two big separate features into one and call it “Friends” would be a great idea. Wrong!
So how this works now?
Users will not be able to see their last interaction at the top of the screen because this part of the app is sorted by the latest posts from whoever is in the conversation list. This means that user might have a friend that they’ve stopped interacting with years ago and see their name first in the Friends window rather than a friend that they shared snaps with yesterday just because the first one posted new content more recently. This kind of functionality is already making life harder for the users as they sometimes have to scroll a lot in order to find users that they actually want to interact with.
Part of the application where stories used to be is now occupied by the Discover page, Snapchat feature that majority of the users can live without as it is usually full of sponsored content among the stories that are posted by the people that are not connected to the user.
This kind of upgrade of the application left many people confused including us because the user experience which was pretty straightforward is now totally questionable. There are even online petitions, some of them reaching up to a million signatures, that are created just to point out how many people are actually upset by this new look of the Snapchat.
It would be interesting to see how many daily users Snap Inc. lose with this move but one thing is undeniable, there is no going back now and that is confirmed by the CEO of the company himself, Evan Spiegel.