Last November, Snapchat revamped their whole layout – insisting that the redesign was meant to enhance personal connections. That move itself faced a lot of backlash from Snapchat users who didn’t like the new layout at all. Now with Snapchat redesigning an already redesigned layout, Snap Inc. has a lot of thoughts and questions to answer.
The updated Snapchat redesign will put Snaps and Chats back in chronological order and move Stories from your friends back over to the right-hand side of the app. In the previous design, all content from connections was pushed to the left and publisher and influencer content was placed on the right.
A lot of observers have noted how badly Snapchat misjudged its audience. These layout changes were based on improving Snapchat’s primary use case which is personal messaging and connections. The aim was to differentiate the personal from the general content a user would like to follow. Snapchat users, however, had a completely different reaction to these changes with 83% of app store reviews being in the negative and celebrities tweeting their constant disapproval of the app.
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel heavily defended the app’s redesign back in November, saying:
“The tech is an important piece but I think the harder part you can’t get around is the time it takes to learn. You do need folks to use the product, to communicate with their friends to learn how to better provide that feed. The tech to some degree is a solved problem, the time to… to learn is a hard problem to solve. Even the complaints we’re seeing reinforce the philosophy. Even the frustrations we’re seeing really validate those changes. It’ll take time for people to adjust, but for me using it for a couple months I feel way more attached to the service.”
One of the major challenges that Snapchat faced - and is facing - is competition from Instagram Stories which was launched in August 2016. It can’t be ignored that Insta Stories has pulled away a lot of Snapchat users with users in North America using Snapchat 33% less and posting 25% more on Instagram Stories.
Of course, Snapchat still has 191 million daily active users but competing with Instagram shouldn’t be its main priority. Rather, Snap Inc. should focus on reassessing its actions, listen to its audience more carefully and work on its unique features rather than turning a workable system completely upside down.