By Katie Bedard
Elm Staff Writer
If you have a Snapchat account, you may have noticed that things aren’t quite what they used to be. A recent update on the app did more than fix bugs, going as far as to push story and message notifications into the same area. While new layouts on social media often meet criticism, this change in particular for Snapchat hurts the company’s relationship with its users.
Despite the fact that I in no way wanted the app to be updated, it seemed to have done it all by itself. Regardless of whether or not people manually updated the app or not, everyone can agree that it feels like Snapchat ignored our wishes in favor of its own. More importantly, now that it’s been done, Snapchat still refuses to listen to its customers despite the negative outcry. In fact, the only thing annoying to them about the new update is how little people seem to like it.
“The alterations have been designed to help Snapchat make money, and the company this week revealed strong fourth-quarter financial results,” said Aatif Sulleyman, a columnist for The Independent.
It doesn’t take a social media analyst to tell that this update was created in favor of the companies who put out “news story” snaps as a part of the discovery page. Some users may notice that the Discovery page, despite getting bigger, has also changed to highlight sponsored content and celebrity stories.
Taking story updates and shoving them together with direct messages only makes it harder for users to find specific messages among a sea of story updates. The idea was that news story snaps would get their own area, and therefore would get more views. If anything, this will likely only cause a decline in the views and money made by these companies.
Most people don’t specifically seek out the news stories. Users occasionally click on the news articles by chance after going through their friends’ stories. Once a certain headline catches their eye, users click on it. Because one would have to go to an entirely different section to view these stories, companies will most likely see a decline in the number of views their snaps get.
“More than 800,000 people have signed an online petition calling on Snapchat to revert its update back to the original design,” Chloe Watson said in an article for The Guardian.
While very few people actually seem to like the new update, Snapchat itself doesn’t seem to be willing to change. Having put so much effort into this new design, the company is quite certain that it will all work out in the end.
“Updates as big as this one can take a little get used to, but we hope the community will enjoy it once they settle in,” said a spokeswoman for Snap Inc. in a statement featured in The Guardian.
Whether or not this proves true, new users have a couple of options when it comes to planning what to do next. The first is to get used to the design layout and attempt to carry on posting as usual. The second is that it is possible to re-install the previous version of the app, as plenty of online tutorials have advertised. Last, and maybe least, users can simply delete their app and get used to Instagram stories.