If you are a regular user of Snapchat, you probably dislike the new updates that have redesigned the app. The entire layout is more difficult to use. Most importantly, friends’ stories can be easily missed now that they are arranged awkwardly. On the App Store, Snapchat has over 900,000 reviews, with 3/4 of those reviewers giving a 1 star. Snap’s stock price is hitting all time lows and many users have stopped using the app entirely.
Evan Spiegel, Snapchat’s CEO, was the highest paid CEO of 2017, banking $504 million in his pocket. Although Spiegel is rewarded with large amounts of cash, he is largely responsible for the app updates almost everyone despises.
Old vs New Snapchat
As many of us remember, Snapchats original design was simple, easy to use, and almost entirely ad-free. The app design worked because it correlated with our attention spans and did exactly what the app was made for. Today, the app works against us. It makes simple tasks, like viewing stories, require more steps than necessary. The recent update to Snapchat was supposed to bring the app back to what the users wanted but instead, it only made it worse. According to new reports, Spiegel made crucial mistakes that could have been prevented in the app redesign.
The Information reports that the current redesign was released despite warnings from Snapchat engineers and mediocre performance tests. Spiegel wanted the whole app to be redesigned but gave the engineers a short time frame to finish it. He also gave vague instructions to the engineers that the goal of the redesign was “to make the app easier to use”. The Information’s sources state that Spiegel didn’t consult with the design or engineering executives about the overall goal and functionality of the design. Even after all of the warnings and poor performance tests, Spiegel demanded the update to launch anyway.
After hundreds of negative reviews, drops in users, and a dipping stock price, Spiegel has still failed to revert the app. More importantly, he failed to listen to feedback from his users and what they wanted. Snapchat is about being able to easily connect with friends and share what’s happening in your life. Now, it’s filled with ads, news, and users many of us do not care about. Apps like Instagram and Facebook with similar story options are now becoming more popular among users. We can only hope that one day Snapchat will one day return to the simplistic format we are asking for.