Teens Outraged at Snapchat Update

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Snapchat’s new home screen layout.

Rachel Kriehn, Reporter

In November of 2017, Snapchat announced they were redesigning their app. In February of 2018, these updates were applied to users’ apps. Many people are unhappy with the changes.

The biggest change to the app is the complete removal of the “Stories” page. Instead, friends’ stories will be on the same page as the user’s personal snaps. According to an article by recode.net, Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel says the main purpose of this change is to differentiate between a user’s personal content and professional media.

Some other minor changes include auto-advancing stories, more content in the “Discover” story, and the use of more algorithms for a more personalized experience.

Spiegel says automatic stories were reinstated because the feature should theoretically increase the number of stories users watch. More algorithms have been introduced to make the app more appealing to its users, therefore causing them to spend more time on the app.

The more content on the Discover story, the longer people will spend on the app, according to Spiegel. With the new algorithms as well, each Discover story will also be tailored to individual users and their interests.

Many students at Arrowhead have been criticizing the new update.

Junior Martha Kobiske says she often hears her peers complaining about the app’s new layout, especially the missing “Stories” page.

“It just looks so confusing,” says Kobiske. “We’re all used to how it was before, and most people liked it that way, but they changed it anyway.”

Junior Sarah Weber is very unhappy with the new update, but says she is trying to accept it because she knows the company probably will not change the app back to its original formatting.

“It’s really annoying. I don’t understand why they put auto-playing stories back in. They took it out for a reason,” Weber says.

Kobiske says she actually doesn’t even have the update. She turned off automatic updates in her Settings app so the Snapchat update wouldn’t apply to her.

“At one point I had actually logged out of Snapchat, and when I logged back in the app had been updated, and I hated it. I literally restarted my phone just so it would get rid of the update, and then I turned off auto-updating,” says Kobiske.

Arrowhead students aren’t the only Snapchat users upset with the changes. Since the new update, Snapchat’s rating on the app store dropped from 4.6 out of 5 stars to its current standing of 1.9 out of 5 stars.

Despite all of the negative feedback, Spiegel says Snapchat will not be reverting back to its original design. Typically, there is a period of resistance whenever an app updates, and Snapchat is just waiting for its users to embrace the new layout.

Roughly 1.1 million people have petitioned for Snapchat to change back to the basics, before the 2018 update. From what Spiegel has said regarding the changes, the petition won’t be any more effective than the complaints and poor reviews the company has been receiving.

“I just really think they should consider what everyone is saying. We’re all giving feedback, but it doesn’t seem like [the company] cares at all,” Weber says. “They should listen to what their users want. That’s what updates are supposed to be about.”