Snapchat Update Conjures Controversy

March 22, 2018

On February 7, 2018, Snapchat introduced its biggest update it has come out with in over three years.  The latest design focuses on separating the media content with content of “friends”, along with other layout changes.  Snapchat stories now appear on the same screen as individual snaps and direct messages, while the Discover page features only celebrity, news and publisher stories presented in a vertical scroll instead of horizontal, with content at the top of the page being the most relevant to the user.  
     Snapchat has received many complaints from users saying the app’s new layout is confusing and difficult to navigate through.  Many have complained that the app is much too cluttered, which is making it difficult to send messages to friends.  The drastic changes have left users frustrated, angry, and annoyed. 
     Some users have said that the app was updated automatically on their devices, which caused them to lose messages or archived data. 
     LHS senior Kristen Laliberte explains her situation with the update, saying, “My snapchat updated without my consent a few days after the update.  It is quite obnoxious because it’s way too distracting. It is also no longer letting me send any snaps anymore.”
     She explained that she tried “deleting it and redownloading it, but that didn’t work, so [she’s] very upset.” 
     As of February 15th, over one million Snapchat users have signed an online petition calling for Snapchat to restore its original design.  Created by Nic Rumsey, the petition asks Snapchat to change the app back to the way it was before the new 2018 update because it has, “made many features more difficult.”
     Rumsey believes that, “Many new features are useless or defeats the original purposes Snapchat has had for the past years.”
     Multiple users have taken to Twitter to complain about the new update:
     One user tweeted, “I don’t even wanna use Snapchat till they fix this update, I just immediately get mad when I open the app.”
     Another complained saying, “This Snapchat update is the worst thing to happen since U2’s album was downloaded to everyone’s phone.” 
      Ironically, Snapchat’s intention was to make the app easier to use with the update, and though users are finding the new features are only making it more challenging, Snapchat is not reconsidering its new design.  
      In a statement, a Snapchat spokeswoman said, “Updates as big as this one can take a little getting used to, but we hope the community will enjoy it once they settle in.”
     This update came directly after Snapchat reported it’s best quarter ever last week.  It topped Wall Street’s revenue expectations for the fourth quarter of 2017.  The report posted that it had the biggest net user addition in over a year, adding 8.9 million daily users in the period to an average of 187 million active users.
     Currently, 40 million users have updated the app, and that number has only increased.  It appears that our only option at the moment is to enjoy the new update, since the app unfortunately will not be returning to its old layout anytime soon.

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