Snapchat’s quest to remain relevant in the social media sphere took a major setback this month with over one million signatures signing a petition to reverse their new update. Despite the company posting positive news before 2017 drew to a close, the company’s growth since 2016 was at just 5% compared to Instagram’s 17% and YouTube’s 40%.
With the social media battle continuing to remain as competitive as ever, Snap’s move to win users over by trying to separate themselves from ‘fake news’ has initially failed to win over the support of their customers:
“The combination of social and media has yielded incredible business results, but has ultimately undermined our relationships with our friends and our relationships with the media.’
We believe that the best path forward is disentangling the two by providing a personalized content feed based on what you want to watch, not what your friends post.”
— Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat
In the current climate where fear of fake news is the top priority for media platforms, the update has angered users because of the difficulty to navigate around the app with people commenting that the interface is now complex to use; thus, cue 1,223,786 – and counting – people that signed the petition for the reversal of the change.
Easiest way to navigate the new snapchat pic.twitter.com/VDIOQQUVKQ
— neal (@nealwalters_) January 10, 2018
Does Anyone Like The Update?
Although there has been evidence that Snap is struggling to keep up with the likes of Facebook and Instagram, there was still a gain of 8.9million users in the most recent quarter – an 18% increase from a year earlier.
And, the Daily Mail appear in favour of the new update with commentary on how the upgrade has improved Snapchat’s functions. The review included improvements such as praising the new and multiple font designs as well as a ‘do not disturb’ function.
The main aim for Spiegel and co. was the problem of personal ‘friends’ of the app being interlinked too closely with ‘celebrities’ and news content being shared from the app’s partners – the new design certainly creates the distance of such a problem with one feed for contacts and the other for news and celebrity accounts:
“Our redesign separates social from media, solving many of the problems that arise when friends are commingled with professional content creators.
‘While we are still very early in the rollout, we are optimistic about the potential to unlock additional growth with the redesign of our application.”
— Evan Spiegel
With the new feature, the Mail continued to highlight how the application saw a 40% increase in customers using the discover section as well as engaging more with the new group story feature.
As the expression goes, ‘no one likes change’, but perhaps after some getting used to, those infuriated with the update and wishing for a reversal will become more acquited to the new style and thank Snap for taking a lead in a new world against ‘fake news’.