A recent update to Snapchat has driven users to take up Instagram for their image-based chat needs.
This redesign was highly disliked by a vocal majority of its userbase. Many people report deleting the app altogether.
The criticisms range from a hard to navigate interface, to an outright money grab with the new push for professionally created stories. I, however, disagree.
Change of a bad system garners praise while change of a neutral or well-liked system usually brings about backlash.
Snapchat is separated into two distinct parts: the home screen where you can send chat images to your friends and the Stories screen where you can find posted photos from friends to curated Stories from content creators.
After the redesign, Snapchat coalesced your friends’ stories and the ability to send them Snaps into one screen.
The previous story section is now dedicated to more professional content and advertisements.
While people claim stories are now hard to find, I counter and say, updates are incremental.
They have started down an important path to separating stories from your friends and what are essentially bite-sized news articles from outlets like Cosmopolitan and Buzzfeed.
Evan Spiegel, Snapchat’s founder, said he wants to “separate the social from the media.” Although I agree that’s an important distinction in an era of fake news, their first attempt has fallen a bit short of the mark.
That, however, does not warrant deleting the app or lambasting across the social media sphere.
Another popular critique is Snapchat’s new update is merely a thinly veiled grab for more profit from paid stories.
Is this so bad?
A business’s first duty is to satisfy its shareholders. It cannot do that if it isn’t making money.
The initial public offering, the first time stock was sold to the public, was less than spectacular so they need to capitalize on any opportunity they have.
Paid stories are now much easier to differentiate than before.
The large rectangular boxes
immediately tell you the source and message — it has never been easier to consume paid content or skip it and go to the next one.
Snapchat refusing to revert the app is an important stance in today’s consumer oriented market.
They are a relatively young company, having come out in just 2011.
To revert an update that is certainly not polished but not warranting the public outcry it has received would be to admit wrong where none has been made.
People simply dislike change, whether the change is good or bad is yet to be seen.
The backlash it has received is equivalent to a child throwing a tantrum.
Day one there were people deleting the app and lamenting the downfall of snapchat and hailing Instagram as the new god of image chat services.
If this truly is the downfall of Snapchat, then please, spread the word.
However, give it a month or two and see how the next updates better this new system.
In time, they will create a more intuitive system but the path they’re on right now is promising.
Griffen Winget can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org