by Emma Shuster ’18
For years, teenagers across America have used the popular app, Snapchat, as a means of communication. Snapchat is an app where users takes pictures of themself and sends them to their friends to view for a specified number of seconds. The app also allows teens to post onto their story, where anyone on their contact list can view what they post for 24 hours. Because of easy ways to use it, many teens are constantly on snapchat and sending snaps back and forth to their streaks, the days for which two people have been snapchatting.
During the first week of February, Snapchat released a new update that has sparked anger and frustration amongst its millions of users. The new update has drastically changed the way the app is set up and the way users interact with it. “I am extremely frustrated,” said junior Sofia Velasquez. “The new version is way too complex and I am still having difficulty using it. I feel as if the app was so much easier to use before the update. I used to use snapchat all the time but now I don’t use it as often.”
The update on the app has split the screen into two sections: friend content to the left and media content to the right. To the left, one can find their streaks and stories of their contacts. While this may seem easier and user friendly, many disagree. Snapchats are no longer placed in chronological order in which they were sent and received and stories are jumbled towards the bottom of the screen. This makes it difficult for users to view stories, which have been a very popular feature of the app. To the right of the screen, one can find media content, which consists of stories from famous people the individual has chosen to follow as well as content from famous pages, such as Buzzfeed. The old version of the app was still designed into two sections; however, streaks were placed to the left and stories to the right.
“I find it extremely annoying because my Snapchats are not in chronological order and how the discovery page has its own separate tab. I have lost some streaks because I am still trying to learn how to use this mess of an app,” said senior Katherine Nehrbass.
Imagine receiving carry-out delivered to your door that you never ordered and did not want. This is similar to how users acquired the new update, automatically and unexpectedly. As a result of the update, Snapchat began receiving hateful comments on Twitter. An unreliable tweet from an unclear source went around telling users to retweet to get Snapchat to revert back to its old update, which received over 1.3 million retweets. Despite several petitions, tweets, emails, and abhorrent comments from millions of users, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel says the update is here to stay and hope individuals will become accustomed to it and learn to love it.
“We’d been thinking about the redesign for a really long time because we were frustrated that when you looked at the [app], both sides looked the same,” said Spiegel. “We’re excited about what we’re seeing so far. Even the complaints we’re seeing reinforce the philosophy. The frustrations we’re seeing really validate those changes.”