Written by Valerie Michalecki
The last time we reported on Snapchat was over a year ago when the Social Media giant was up against Instagram in a total bloodbath. This was back when Instagram first introduced their Stories feature, which at that time only Snapchat offered. After five rounds of complete and utter carnage, we declared Instagram the winner of this battle, taking the crown for the User Friendliness, User Discovery, and Data Usage rounds, and drawing with Instagram on the round of User Popularity.
Fast forward to 2018, things have only gotten more interesting in this contest. Back on February 6th, Snapchat launched a major update that reorganized the app’s entire interface. Among some rather annoying changes, content, messages, and stories from friends and media have been rearranged in such an inconvenient way that Snapchat’s loyal users are feeling shafted. To say that Snapchat’s user popularity has plummeted after their sneaky app redesign is an understatement.
The update has caused excessive backlash from some of its most noteworthy users, like Snapchat guru Kylie Jenner. Two weeks after the fatal redesign, King Kylie took down the entire company in a single profound tweet: “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me... ugh this is so sad.”
Seemingly as a result of this insulting post, Snapchat’s parent company’s shares dropped 6%, or $1.3 billion. Silicon Valley execs are calling it “the kiss of death” and “the greatest app debacle” they’d ever seen.
Whether you’re a fan of Ms. Jenner or not is neither here nor there, as there is still something to be said for her influence over the young, cool crowd. With 24 million Twitter followers, and 104 million Instagram followers, Kylie Jenner is one of the most influential social media users in 2018. Thus a Social Media Influencer of her caliber slamming a company like Snapchat so publicly can obviously cause major damage.
Snapchat’s update has made it difficult for even the savviest of techie teenagers to understand. They’re calling it ugly, annoying, and hard to understand. In fact, so many people are upset about the update that a petition has been launched to remove the update. As of this writing, 1.2 million angry social media users have signed the petition. Even John Legend’s supermodel Social Media Influencer wife, Chrissy Teigen weighed in, asking her Twitter followers “How many people have to hate an update for it to be reconsidered?”
While Kylie hasn’t quit Snapchat altogether, the social media queen posted a Snapchat story on 1 March of her post-baby body, an update that her followers have been waiting for since she delivered a month ago. However, she posted identical content on her Instagram account plus some, so does that mean that Kylie’s Snapchat account may no longer offer exclusive footage?
Of course with any social media platform update comes a bit of moaning from its users. We’ve all seen Facebook make changes to their interface and then whined about it, but this particular redesign from Snapchat seems a bit more serious. Following the criticism widely received, the company says that they’ve heard our complaints about how it’s difficult to use and they said they wanted to fix that. And they also said they believed that while a redesign could cause some short term disruption, the long term benefits would be worth it. The long term benefits being a more profitable venture for the company of course, and not customer satisfaction.
Personally, I ditched Snapchat a long time ago. I was never able to figure it all out, so I stuck with my Instagram which is so clean and simple. And of course, Facebook will always be a part of my social media repertoire. So, sayonara Snapchat? Is this the end?
Native New Yorker Valerie Michalecki is an unashamed social media addict who always keeps her finger firmly on the pulse of what's hot on the internet.
When she's not checking her timelines, she's hard at work creating (hopefully) viral social media/web content, riding unicorns and drinking G&Ts on the beach in her second home on Egypt's South Sinai peninsula.