Opinion: Snapchat’s new update ruins app

General Opinion Graphic

Alex Jones, Columnist

Users backlash against Snapchat’s new makeover, app tanks in ratings.

The internet has gone into a frenzy over Snapchat’s latest update.

Drastic changes to Snapchat’s interface in February have resulted in petitions, rating drops and mass money loss for the app.

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The beginning of 2018 was to mark a new era for Snapchat with an update that would allow for better navigation. Quite the opposite has happened.

In 2016, five years after its inception, Snapchat had accumulated 301 million monthly active users worldwide, according to Statista.com. 

Fast forward two years to present day and millions of Snapchat’s users are furious over the new update.

“I initially hated the Snapchat update ‘cause it looked so disorganized and cluttered,” Kenna Davis, freshman, said. 

According to Snap Inc., the update utilized Snapchat’s new algorithm, which organizes a user’s friends page based on how they communicate with them. The hope was to have friends in the order they wanted to talk to them to avoid constant scrolling. 

The biggest issue with this new algorithm is that it is adaptive. This means it takes time for the app to figure out who you talk to most often. When the update first launched, everyone’s friends page was cluttered and recent chats were buried under people they rarely talk to.

“I didn’t like the update because it made it hard to see who you recently Snapchatted and made me forget about some people when others would post on their story,” Anthony Nunn, sophomore, said.  

Another contribution is the combination of stories and chats on the same page, which resulted in confusion and clutter. 

“When people update their Snap stories it would put it above your recent

conversations,” Nunn said.

With such a radical change, Snapchat’s user base was quick to rebel. Tweets with instructions on how to get rid of the new update quickly surfaced and circulated around Twitter. This reversal worked for some, but for others it did not. 

Next was a petition on Change.org to take away the update and bring the old interface back. This petition has racked up over 1.2 million signatures since February and that number continues to climb. 

“We completely understand the new Snapchat update has felt uncomfortable for many,” Team Snapchat said in response to the Change.org petition.

Team Snapchat continued to explain that the more you use the app, the more it will adapt to you and that they would be adding new tabs to better organize content. 

However, this is not what users wanted and Snapchat never agreed to take the update away. Instead, they recognized their user’s frustration and played it off nonchalantly. 

“This new foundation is just the beginning, and we will always listen closely to find new ways to make the service better for everyone. We are grateful for your enthusiasm and creativity. 

We are very excited for what’s ahead,” Team Snapchat said, concluding their response to the Change.org petition. 

Between celebrity tweets, the online petition and Snapchat’s refusal to revert to the old interface, the company’s stock dropped 6 percent, resulting in a loss of $1.3 billion. 

The once highly praised app had a huge drop in ratings, resulting in a 1.6 out of 5 star rating on the App Store, with thousands of comments complaining about the update and urging others not to update the app if they haven’t already. 

Snapchat’s stubbornness has cost the app its reputation and money. Even while many have put up with this update, one thing is certain, this app will never be enjoyed as it once was. It’s hard to know if this once indestructable camera app will ever bounce back from its fast downfall, or if it will eventually fade and be replaced by Facebook and Instagram stories. 

“I think it’s a pride thing. They wanna feel like they have control over the user even if they don’t like it,” Nunn said. 

To the other companies out there, I recommend using Snapchat as an example of what not to do.