Snapchat redesign focuses on 'separating the social from the media'

30 November, 2017, 14:07 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Snapchat redesigns app as user growth stalls

From the camera screen, you can swipe to the left to see your friends and to the right to see the new Discover tab.

The goal was to make the app easier to use but Spiegel also noted that the redesign might have a disruptive impact on user engagement in the short term. Stories are now sorted based on a new "best friends" algorithm, and the company has brought back the auto-advance feature. The updated version of Snapchat will roll out over the next few weeks, the company said Wednesday. Spiegel also penned a rare opinion piece for the website Axios published earlier today that outlined how Snapchat is trying to push away from the label of "social media" and also aggressively criticized its competitors in the space for helping fuel the rise of fake news.

Unread messages from friends will be shown at the top of the window, in chronological order, while other message threads and Stories will be shown algorithmically based on whom Snapchat believes you care about most. Snap is down 2 percent today, potentially because the redesign mostly shuffles existing content rather than adding big new things, but Facebook is down 3.75 percent, perhaps because Snap is correcting some of its core flaws here and adopting Facebook's algorithmic approach.

Snapchat eliminated the Stories page inside the app, a section where user posts co-mingled with posts from publishers like NBC or Bleacher Report.

The changes to the app were announced in a blog post on the Snap Inc. website and were accompanied by a video featuring Spiegel in which he explained how the redesigned app will separate the "social" and the "media". The main bit of the app stays the same, from the start - you still see the camera first and foremost.

"With the upcoming redesign of Snapchat, we are separating the social from the media, and taking an important step forward towards strengthening our relationships with our friends and our relationships with the media", said Spiegel. On the right is where the content from brands will be.

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The new Snapchat app still opens to the camera, but there are changes from there.

"While blurring the lines between professional content creators and your friends has been an interesting Internet experiment, it has also produced some odd side-effects (like fake news) and made us feel like we have to perform for our friends rather than just express ourselves", Snapchat wrote in a blog post. Just like the Friends page, content showcased on Discover will change and adapt over time based on your interests and what you like to watch the most.

The new friends page is dynamic.

Users will now see two separate feeds.

So how does Snap know who's a friend, and who's a brand?

"My optimistic side likes to think that the past three quarters since Snap's IPO are helping to set expectations regarding reasonable growth rates for new advertising-driven businesses - expectations that have been thrown for a loop due to Facebook's unprecedented success", Forrester analyst Melissa Parrish recently told Digital News Daily.


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