Snapchat’s response to update backlash sheds further light on where the social media user experience is going.
Earlier this month, Snapchat rolled out what most considered a controversial update. This redesign, the largest one since the app’s launch in 2011, caught the majority of users by surprise. The new format aims to more clearly sort Snap content from users that people know and content from companies, brands, and celebrities.
Everyone from college students to celebrities have been complaining about the new user experience. Some even went so far as to launch a petition on Change.org demanding the app return to its previous version. To date, the petition has more than 1,200,000 signatures and counting. Snapchat finally addressed the topic last week by releasing an official response to the petition. Snapchat’s CEO, Evan Spiegel, stated that users would need time to get used to the new format.
While the Discover page hasn’t changed all that much, it now shows more official stories like verified users and brands. The new Friends page is what really caught users by surprise. Spiegel claimed the page will “adapt” to users and “get smarter over time.” With this newly implemented algorithm, Snapchat will rank content from friends depending on what it believes is most relevant to the user. Reinforcing an all too common theme we’ve seen with other social media outlets over the past few weeks and months: an embrace of personalization.
As mentioned in previous blogs, many social media networks have made it their goal in 2018 to create a more positive and personal user experience. And, Snapchat’s new redesign falls categorically in the same boat. Algorithms are the driving force behind networks like Facebook and Instagram, and it seems like Snapchat is determined to follow in their footsteps.
Leaders in the social world are well aware that, to stay relevant, they need to adapt to the times. With “personalization” becoming such a buzzword in marketing recently, it is no shocker that social media has latched onto the term to make their world a more individualized place for users and marketers alike.