In recent weeks, popular social media app Snapchat dropped a major update, one that has been receiving a lot of feedback from its users worldwide. However, the major consensus of Snapchatters is overwhelmingly negative when it comes to opinions about the overall look and effectiveness of the update.
The update was introduced to users in hope that their friends can be in one place, as opposed to the previous layout where stories from friends, celebrities, and more were all placed together. The goal of the company was “to make it easier to connect with the people you care about most”, and while this may be an understandable goal, users found that the way it was attempted was ineffective.
Student users, such as freshman Jennifer Vega have found that “it’s super inconvenient to keep up my streaks now.” Freshman Emily Canter agrees with this by adding that she “is constantly searching for people’s names” causing her to be “not a fan”.
Many efforts have been made by Snapchatters in order to convince the company to go back to the basics.
Nic Rumsey of Australia, an avid user of the app, went as far as creating a petition on change.org to revert back to the “old Snapchat”. According to the mission statement, the petition aims to “to help convince Snap Inc. to change the app back to the basics, before the new 2018 update” due to “users [finding] it has not made the app easier to use, but has in fact made many features more difficult.”
An impressive 1.2 million people geared up to sign this petition, which ultimately attracted the attention of the app’s company. The company then issued a statement in response to the petition saying that they hear the complaints from its users and that it “understands the new Snapchat has felt uncomfortable for many.” However, the company does not plan on getting rid of this update, but rather moving forward with it and improving it with time, saying also in the statement that it is “introducing tabs in friends and discover, which will make it easier to find the stories that you want, when you want them.
Once you receive the update, you’ll be able to sort things like stories, group chats, and subscriptions, allowing you to further customize your own experience on the app.”
Further updates have been made since this controversial, one in which GIFs, new fonts and multiple sets of texts are able to be used on photos and videos. Bitmojis have also been updated to give the user more flexibility and choices when it comes to personalizing their mini-me.
These updates have been well received by users like junior Kerstin Holman, who enjoys the new font options and Bitmoji personalizations, but other than that, she is “not a big fan of [the update].”
Many people have taken their opinions to Twitter. One user posted a screenshot of a supposed conversation with Snapchat, claiming that the company would revert back to the old layout if the user could get 500,000 retweets. While the tweet ended up to be fake, it received over 1.3 million retweets, making it the sixth most retweeted tweet of all time.
Even celebrities have taken to other social media platforms in order to state their opinion about the update. Model Chrissy Teigen spoke about the update on Twitter, saying “how many people have to hate an update for it to be reconsidered?” which received numerous likes and retweets.
However, the most detrimental tweet for the company came from new mother Kylie Jenner, in which she said “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad.” The tweet racked up almost 74,000 retweets and 363,000 likes.
After this tweet was sent out, Snapchat then lost $1.3 billion in stocks overnight, a damaging hit for the company.
However, while the update may be receiving negative reviews now, there is potential that it could follow a pattern like those of other social media platforms. The updates could be accepted overtime, therefore helping the platform to grow.
In the case of Facebook, when the company changed from “walls” to the current timeline format, only a mere 10% of users enjoyed the new layout. However, over time, this update grew the user interface of the app, causing the seemingly negative change into a positive in the long run.
Some users have found the updates to show some positives, and can see themselves getting used to the layout over time.
Senior Nicholas Hipple says that he enjoys that he can “sort [his] Snapchats by groups, stories, and all now” and that he can “easily filter through all the snaps that [he] has.” Some users such as senior Sarah Puchalla have “already gotten used to the update”, but still aren’t fond of the changes.
While the future of the app may appear to be unclear at the moment, the company is excited for it, as well as the improved changes to come.