Snapchat Plans Radical Overhaul to Make Social Platform Easier to Understand [Updated]

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Longtime Snapchat users should prepare themselves for a radical overhaul of the way the mobile app works, based on comments made by Snap CEO Evan Spiegel in his earnings letter to investors on Tuesday.

    With the company falling short of lowered projections for growth, Snap put much of the blame on the fact that the social platform is simply a mystery to outsiders. "One thing we have heard over the years is that Snapchat is difficult to understand or hard to use," wrote Spiegel. "Our team has been working on responding to this feedback."


    Few details were provided on the planned redesign, but Snapchat said it was working on an algorithm to show people a more personalized version of the stories they might want to see.
    Spiegel said that the changes would make it easier for users to see content from people who aren't their friends, but that private conversations between close friends would remain a bulwark of the app.

    The esoteric nature of the social platform has apparently moved Snap to make these drastic changes, but the danger is that it could alienate existing users. However, Spiegel said the company was willing to bear the consequences.
    Snap's third quarter revenue was $207.9 million, not the $235.5 million analysts had predicted. Shares fell as much as 22 percent in extended trading as a result, before recovering slightly to trade down 17 percent.

    Sales estimates for Snap have been dropping since its March initial public offering, with the company apparently unable to clearly explain to advertisers how Snapchat works, despite providing investors with detailed instructions during its initial PO. The lack of a news feed and no ability to share, like, or comment on posts has also proved a stumbling block.

    Against this backdrop, Facebook's habit of copying Snapchat features and building them into its own apps has only weakened the uniqueness of Snap's offering in the social media landscape - a key factor of the company's business model. It remains to be seen exactly what a redesign will mean for Snapchat and its users, and no timeline for the rollout has been made public.

    Update 11/9: Business Insider reports that Snapchat's redesign is planned to debut on December 4.

    Article Link: Snapchat Plans Radical Overhaul to Make Social Platform Easier to Understand [Updated]
  2. Maetzle macrumors regular


    Jun 2, 2014
    Whilst I'm not really interested in Snapchat I have to say that this is a good move. I downloaded it once because friends were bugging me to use it, but I got way too annoyed at the interface. Just couldn't figure out how to get where I wanted. Guess I'm getting old.
  3. Relentless Power, Nov 8, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017

    Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    It seems Snapchat is finely revamping their framework. As popular as it is, I'm surprised these changes did not come sooner.
  4. Gorms macrumors 6502


    Aug 30, 2012
    I've been studying social platforms of late, so have some advice for Snap:

    1. Ignore everything your users are saying about harassment and abuse of advertising systems
    2. increase your character limit to 280 characters
    3. Retire to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait until this whole thing blows over.
  5. Pagemakers macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2008
    Manchester UK
  6. christarp macrumors 6502


    Oct 29, 2013
    Same situation here. A month or so ago I decided to cave and download it and it was a mess of an interface. Truly a horrendous experience.
  7. taptic macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2012
    "Radical overall"

    Hopefully an understatement for this pile of garbage.
  8. Derekeys macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2012
    Philadelphia, PA
  9. ILikeAllOS macrumors 6502


    Jul 28, 2011
    Tampa Bay
    In addition to the horrible interface, the 2 other problems are that
    1. Snapchat has forgotten why people originally used the app. It was always for sending nudes and having them delete after being viewed and alerting the user if a screenshot is taken. Now they are doing everything they can to do the opposite, to make everything as public as possible.
    2. Everyone is just moving to Instagram.
  10. Nick A macrumors regular

    May 10, 2009
    How is it in any way difficult to use? It’s opens to the camera, you take a pic, and send it to whoever you choose. If you swipe to the right, you get a list of your friends stories. I don’t see how this is complicated, at all.

    The discover section is pretty much useless though.

    Also, I really hope it doesn’t go the way of Instagram and Facebook with stories being in non-chronological order. I use both of those way less often because I really don’t want to see something that was posted 3 days ago.
  11. Pagemakers macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2008
    Manchester UK
    I ONLY ever use it for stories. I follow ONE person and I can never open the app just on the stories page.

    I am forever being bombarded with requests and all kinds of crap.

    Yes - the interface is a non-iOS standard mess.
  12. Michael Scrip, Nov 8, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017

    Michael Scrip macrumors 603

    Mar 4, 2011
    While I agree with the theory... Facebook and Instagram know that people, for the most part, won't see every single post anyway. There are simply too many.

    If you visit the app a few times a day... there's no way you're gonna see all 24 hours of posts from everyone you're following every day. And god forbid if you skip a day or two... :p

    So... they use their algorithms to select what you're most likely to want to see in the limited time you use the app.

    If someone makes a post at 9am... but you don't check the app until 1pm on your lunch break... would you see that post if everything was still chronological? Maybe if you scroll back far enough. But you'll probably never see it. Lost forever.

    At least with the algorithms... you have a better chance of seeing it.

    I know, I know... it's not what you want. I get that. But I also see what they're going for.

    Personally... I stopped thinking about these apps as literal "timelines" and just started thinking about it as "content"

    I don't really care when something was posted... I'm just glad to see it.

    This is especially true with Instagram. I frequently will click on someone's profile to look at their "old" photos.

    Photography isn't really temporal. I can still enjoy a photo even if it was posted 3 days ago. ;)
  13. Baumi macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2005
    I still have no idea why Wall Street thinks this company is worth more than $10 billion. Seems to have developed from a one-trick-pony into a focus-less mess.
  14. Michael Scrip, Nov 8, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017

    Michael Scrip macrumors 603

    Mar 4, 2011
    Is SnapChat still primarily used by teens?

    Teens with no money?

    An advertisers dream.... :p

    I still don't quite understand SnapChat. So forgive me if I have this all wrong... :)
  15. iReality85, Nov 8, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017

    iReality85 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 29, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Same exact situation here. I used it briefly not long after it had originally come out, years ago, and remember thinking the UI was terrible. Not intuitive at all. Then, about 2 years ago, I re-downloaded it (my account still existed) after being pestered by a friend, and it was still terrible. Haven't used it since and don't intend to.

    That's exactly why people used it. I know because my friends did that sort of thing. Then about a year ago, I saw some of my friends using the app for tracking each other's whereabouts... why the hell would you do that? People really want themselves to be tracked all the time? They clearly thought it was neat to be able to see where everyone in their group was at all times. Maybe at my "old" age of 32 I'm uncool, but I think that's super creepy.
  16. scrapesleon Suspended


    Mar 30, 2017
    I kinda like how Snapchat is already when will this overhaul take place next year?
  17. neosupreeth macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2011
    Downloaded the app, was totally useless in terms of UI / UX , uninstalled it. Honestly, with a clean interface in Instagram, why would anyone use Snapchat?
  18. Pineapple24 macrumors member


    Apr 13, 2017
    Los Angeles
    People (like myself) love Snapchat BECAUSE of it's messy UI.

    So many people download it and can't figure out how to use it (see this thread), it's almost like a club or special group, like the early days of Facebook.

    The more Snapchat tries to be as appealing as Facebook or Instagram is the day they'll lose their core users to some other app.

    We're on Snapchat because our family is on Facebook.
  19. EdT macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2007
    Omaha, NE
    The ‘confusing UI’ aspect probably was a plus when the app first came out because it kept all the ‘clueless people’ away. Trouble is, most people end up in the clueless class as they have other things to spend their time on. And what exactly is Snapchat supposed to do that other apps don’t? Anything that makes itself intentionally complicated eventually becomes only a niche product. And the users aren’t really the customers here, they are the product. Advertisers are the customers, and they want numbers not exclusiveness.
  20. mariusignorello macrumors 68000

    Jun 9, 2013
    I dropped it and won’t be going back. Instagram has all the features that Snapchat has plus the user base.

    Unfortunately they bloated the hell out of Snapchat with irrelevant pop content and unnecessary controls everywhere. That’s an unforgivable offense when it comes to technology.
  21. sphark macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2012
    So people got bored with the novelty of face filters. Shocking.

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