The reaction to Snapchat’s update that was announced last year and rolled out in 2018 has been far from well-received.
Aside from being bad for the company’s business model, there’s no benefit for users. Both chats with friends and their stories are merged in one location. It’s also based on some algorithm rather than chronological order. Snap received backlash from every direction, and the whole ordeal reminded us why Instagram keeps building on its lead.
Evan Spiegel, the company’s founder and chief executive officer, expressed no interest in listening to concerns. His response was quite blunt, saying users would adapt over time and the redesign would stay. The company, however, finally decided it will indeed make adjustments of its own.
Snap has announced that, after months of resistance, it will overhaul the app again to better serve both users and publishers. The Snapchat app will see the return of elements from its former style.
More than anything else, users will be thrilled that chats and stories are going to be separate again. While chats will continue living on the left side of the camera as they always have, stories will return to the right side. Snap also has dedicated streams for subscriptions from publishers and recommended content.
Everything will also be organized in chronological order. Snap’s unexplained algorithm is dead, and we couldn’t be happier.
The reversal comes as Snap desperately needs to prove to investors that it can increase revenue and eventually achieve profitability. Following the widely-panned redesign, Snap’s revenue dropped in Q1 2018 and the company took a net loss of $386 million.
Its daily active user base grew slightly, but Snapchat didn’t pull in as much money per user as it did during the holidays. Publishers and advertisers saw less engagement because their content was moved away from user-made content. On Snapchat, users are there to engage with friends rather than brands.
Snap did not say when Android will receive the update, but it’s rolling out on iOS now.