As the old saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The software industry has never been one to live life according to clichés, though. In the world of social media, being disruptive gets you noticed.
Unfortunately for the popular social media service Snapchat, the app’s latest UI overhaul is disrupting their user base. So much so that 1.2 million people signed a petition for Snap to turn back time and make things the way they were before.
Snapchat is holding out for now, but things look bleak. The company’s stock has already plummeted to the tune of over $1.5 billion. Could we be watching the decline of a social media giant?
If Tweets Could Kill
These days, when a tweet hits the news, we typically assume it has to do with our president providing you live in the U.S.
However pop culture icon Kylie Jenner demonstrated her own social media clout by taking a swipe at the image-fueled platform following the introduction of the new look and feel. She wrote,
soo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad.
Whether or not it was the direct result of Jenner’s tweet, Snapchat stock saw a sharp decline the following day.
Add to that the fact that the 20-year-old has 24.5 million Twitter followers and you can see how poignant the brief quip from Jenner was. She did follow up with a placating
still love you tho snap … my first love.
What’s Really Changed?
So just how bad are the UI changes to the Snapchat application? The overhaul is pretty substantial.
For those who don’t use Snapchat, you should know that the original design wasn’t exactly the definition of “user-friendly.”
Tech publication Gizmodo describes it as coming with a learning curve that made veteran users feel proud. But that large following of users was thrown for a loop when the new design completely re-organized things.
Significant changes in the app include a re-thought feed that now contains stories and Snapchats in the same window. The two look very similar, which can be confusing for users at first. There’s also a new “discover” section that has been introduced to increase ad revenue, but as the only place in the app where ads can be placed, people will probably just avoid it.
Users who want to re-visit a Snapchat from earlier can no longer do so easily. Instead, they have to locate the Snap sender on a different screen and then call up their previous Snaps from a context menu. Snapchat says that more navigational features are coming to help make the app a success again, but people are pissed.
Sorry, Not Sorry
Snapchat gave a public response to the angry petition saying “we hear you” and ensuring users that they will always take feedback into consideration. However, the message from Snapchat support seems a little different.
Some people have taken to unofficial workarounds to restore the old version of the app, but Snapchat warns that “unofficial workarounds to change the way Snapchat looks are temporary and can result in getting permanently locked out of your account or losing Memories.”
The goal of the new setup, according to Snapchat, was to bring you more of the content you want and less noise from sources other than your friends — for example, celebrities. Snap CEO Evan Spiegel even wrote a statement saying that if you’re bummed about not feeling like celebrities are your friends, the update is, effectively, working.
Can Snap Self-Right?
But things don’t look well for Snap at the moment, and in an industry where the tide can change very quickly, this update could be the kiss of death. The rapid change in fortune comes on the heels of Snap’s best fourth quarter ever, but if the negative trend continues, it could be a death knell for the popular picture app, which valued around $24 billion in 2017.
Snap went public only in 2017, and after reaching a high of $29, share prices are below $16.00 at the time of writing. Making matters worse, Facebook has introduced a new feature, “Instagram Stories,” that is aimed at occupying precisely the market niche Snapchat considers its bread and butter.
We don’t blame you if you fail this one, Snapchat. Doing battle with the Kardashians and Facebook at the same time is pretty much a suicide mission.