Snapchat’s redesign is aimed at making the app more personal and easier to use.

Snapchat Unveils a Major Redesign to Try to Get New People to Use It

Snapchat Unveils a Major Redesign to Try to Get New People to Use It

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Nov. 29 2017 11:32 AM

Snapchat Unveils a Major Redesign

Snapchat will hopefully be easier to use now.

Carl Court/Getty Images

Snapchat unveiled a redesign of its app on Wednesday that it says will make it more intuitive and personal.

The update will launch for a “small percentage” of its users this week. CEO Evan Spiegel had told investors earlier in the month, after another quarter of lackluster growth, to expect changes due to years of criticisms that Snapchat is difficult to use. This is particularly the case for pre-millennials.


One of the most significant updates is separating content produced by family and friends, which will now live on the left side of the app, from that of publishers and other more professional organizations, now in the Discover tab on the right side. The company hopes that this change will in part stymie “fake news.” As Spiegel put it in an op-ed on Axios, “The personalized newsfeed revolutionized the way people share and consume content. But let’s be honest: this came at a huge cost to facts, our minds and the entire media industry.”

Snapchat is also implementing a new Netflix-inspired algorithm that sorts content based on previous user behavior rather than simply relying on friend recommendations or the chronology of the posts. Other changes include vertical scrolling for news, easier access to Snap Map, and a reintroduction of the auto-advance feature that lets users watch stories in succession.

The past year has been rocky for the company, which seems to be gunning for a comeback with this redesign. Apart from lagging user growth—daily users grew just 2.9 percent in the third quarter, the slowest rate since the company began reporting it—Snapchat also faces looming competition from Facebook and Instagram, both of which recently introduced their own versions of stories. Current trading prices for shares for the company have also dropped 20 percent below their initial offering.

Snapchat users weighing in on Twitter to news of announcement had a set of simple demands.

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