Bad Update

Matthew Steinberg, Features Editor

Earlier this month Snapchat redesigned its application and received harsh criticism. Yes, the update is horrible and causes my blood pressure to spike. However, while the update itself upsets me, the business’ response to the criticism it has received is much more annoying.

Snapchat has always been notable for its simple, user friendly design, and that has not changed with the update. Users still swipe right to go from received content to the camera, and then swipe right again to go from the camera to all the junk news that appears on the app.

The update does included changes though. Most notably, people’s snap stories are now given priority on the screen, which proves the creators have yet to take into consideration that the majority of its customers have a love-hate relationship with snapchat stories.

Stories are a neat and essential feature to the application. We use them to show off a lovely night out, instantaneously share a crazy event that just occurred before our eyes, keep up with friends, and follow celebrities. They serve an important purpose, but they are not the central to the app.

I do not want to see all of my friends’ stories every single time I send a quick snapchat. It is similar to when Facebook notifies me of the activity of someone I am not even friends with. Both the applications are overestimating how much I care about other people’s lives.

Combining stories with personal snapchats is also detrimental to my snapchat streaks. When anyone I follow adds to their story, it refreshes on my page and pushes other users down and out of sight. I can no longer easily see them, so my streaks are spread out rather than being lined up nicely with easy access.

The raging discontent has lead the vigilante, Nic Rumsey, an Australian user, to draw up a petition to get Snap to reverse the update. The petition hit a remarkable one million signatures on Thursday, Feb 15, 2018 and continues to grow, with a goal of one million five hundred thousand, according to an article published by CNBC. To all this, Snap responded.

The company admitted they knew the redesign would not be well received by the public, according to “The Independent.” At the base of their argument, Snap CEO Evan Spiegal believed that there needed to be a separation between “the social and the media.” He defined the “social” as our friends or people we follow, and the “media” as the tabloid news which has flooded the app.

The thought behind the update was unique and innovative, but that does not mean it was executed correctly. What is most annoying is the company’s unwillingness to acknowledge they messed up. They have even been a bit arrogant about the matter, as a spokesperson for Snap said, “updates as big as this one can take a little getting used to, but we hope the community will enjoy it once they settle in.”

That quote alone makes me want to delete the app and start posting on my untouched Instagram story. They are choosing to ignore customer dissatisfaction. I am predicting that their “my way or the highway” attitude in this situation will lead to a sharp decline in user activity.

Speaking of revenue, Spiegal seems to think this redesign will actually help the company on Wall Street. They ended their fourth quarter in 2017 with shares up 33 percent, according to CNBC. This statistic alone could be a reason for making a major overhaul in the first quarter of 2018. I suppose the two are connected in the business world, but they are often presented as separate goals.

Snapchat used to be one of the real ones. The application was simple with a sleek aesthetic, but now it has turned over to the dark side of not caring about customer satisfaction along with Facebook and Instagram. We should all hope Twitter sticks with us to the end, so we can all continue to prosper in the hard world of social media.