The new Snapchat update will make the app obsoleteBy Sara Beth Bolin | 02/28/2018 7:45pm
Snapchat has gone through several changes over the past few years. From best friends lists to stories and filters, the app has been praised and criticized for the small formatting edits and added components that have cycled through. There’s never been an update that has completely negatively impacted Snapchat users. That is, until now.
This update is literally the worst.
Gone is the simple “swipe left for your snaps, right for stories and center for the camera.” The ease of seeing all of your contacts in order has been brutally snatched from users, and now, we’re forced to live with the consolidation of stories and private snaps into one, completely un-user-friendly interface that no one was mentally, physically or emotionally prepared to use.
When I opened Snapchat for the first time after it was (very forcibly and without my knowledge) updated, I initially thought I had opened the wrong app. Why was a girl who I hadn’t talked to in years at the top of my list, but my best friend, the last person I snapped before the update, not even visible on the screen? Where was my story from the night before? And why was Wells Adams’ “drunk Snapchat” recap of the Bachelor incorporated into the corporate news and pop culture stories?
And I’m not the only one who had this reaction. Twitter was up in arms about the update the day it was released, calling for a boycott and demanding that Snapchat engineers revert back to the old version. A Change.org petition to change Snapchat’s layout back to its old ways that started last week has already received over 1.2 million signatures, indicating just how upset these users are. Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel released a statement that the app isn’t going back to its old ways anytime soon, and even said that “the frustrations we’re seeing really validate those changes.”
This blatant disregard for their users’ opinions made many users, myself included, feel unheard, as if they meant nothing. The backlash grew, and if Snapchat wants to treat their users like this, will it be really that surprising if the company fails?
Many of Snapchat’s most famous and active users, like Kylie Jenner, have tweeted about their unhappiness with the app. Kylie recently tweeted her followers, asking “Sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me ... ugh this is so sad.”
Snapchat’s stocks plummeted $1.3 billion the next day.
Like Kylie, I find myself opening Snapchat less and less since the update. It’s annoying to try to figure out exactly how to use the new interface, and there have been a few times I’ve sent snaps to the wrong person because of the seemingly random order of contacts. Streaks have been broken, and stories have taken a backseat in my social media usage, solely because it took me way too much time to figure out how to actually watch them.
Sure, the new variety in fonts and the added GIF stickers are cool, but since Instagram also has these features (and they look much better), it’s not nearly enough to make up for the eyesore that is the new layout. The cons outweigh the pros by a large margin, and unless Snapchat addresses this head-on, it’s on its way to becoming obsolete.
Sara Beth Bolin is a junior majoring in political science, anthropology and journalism. Her column runs biweekly.