This month, more than a million keyboard-wielding, moderately frustrated change.org users petitioned Snapchat to roll back its big redesign—the one Snap delicately introduced over the course of a few months and said would be “disruptive.” Miraculously, this petition has achieved something, albeit on the smallest of scales.
Petitioners were rewarded with a response from Snap yesterday, but the lukewarm reply isn’t what they asked for. Yes, Snapchat is sticking with the changes. And yes, more changes are on the way to address any issues you may have with all these changes.
The gist of Snap’s response (in full below) is that it “completely understand[s]” your frustration. This is “just the beginning” and don’t worry, because Snap “will always listen.”
Snap’s response points to additional changes that it announced yesterday, including a tabs feature that lets users “sort things like Stories, Group Chats, and Subscriptions, allowing you to further customize your own experience on the app.” Snap is also working with Giphy on animated stickers, and the company says “the new Friends page will adapt to you and get smarter over time.”
When Snap announced the redesign in November, it warned it didn’t “yet know how the behavior of our community will change when they begin to use our updated application.” Snap said it was “willing to take that risk” because the redesign sought to solve a very real problem.
From the start, Snapchat’s novel design came with a learning curve. Figuring out how to use it was like a secret you could share with friends, and it worked, successfully winning over young folks while remaining out of reach for many of the olds who still use Facebook. Then the perk became a problem.
Snap acknowledged last year that plenty of people find the app “difficult to understand or hard to use.” And Snap isn’t growing like it used to. Thus, the redesign. Now we wait to see if Snapchat users, like Facebook users, are willing to get over the changes after making such a fuss. If not, there’s always Instagram, I guess.
Here is Snap’s response, in full:
To Nic and all of the Snapchatters who signed this petition,
We hear you, and appreciate that you took the time to let us know how you feel. We completely understand the new Snapchat has felt uncomfortable for many.
By putting everything from your friends in one place, our goal was to make it easier to connect with the people you care about most. The new Friends page will adapt to you and get smarter over time, reflecting who you’re most likely to be Snapping with at that moment. This same personalization is also true of the new Discover, which will adapt to you the more that you use it.
Beginning soon on iOS, and with Android in the coming weeks, we are introducing tabs in Friends and Discover, which will make it easier to find the Stories that you want, when you want them. Once you receive the update, you’ll be able to sort things like Stories, Group Chats, and Subscriptions, allowing you to further customize your own experience on the app.
This new foundation is just the beginning, and we will always listen closely to find new ways to make the service better for everyone. We are grateful for your enthusiasm and creativity. We are very excited for what’s ahead.