In its biggest change since adding its Discover section, Snapchat has redesigned the app in hopes of making it more user friendly. Snap CEO Evan Spiegel, who first announced the plans in Snapchat’s Q3 earnings call early this month, is hoping the new makeover will also help separate Snapchat from being described as a social network altogether, which is how most see the platform.
“While many people view Snapchat as a social media service, it is primarily used to talk with friends – like visual texting,” explained Spiegel in an op-ed published in Axios today. “Snapchat began as an escape from social media, where people could send photos and videos to their friends without the pressure of likes, comments, and permanence.”
Going forward, Spiegel wants to focus Snapchat on personalizing stories created by publishers in a different way to highlighting what friends share. “The combination of social and media has yielded incredible business results, but has ultimately undermined our relationships with our friends and our relationships with the media,” explained Spiegel. “We believe that the best path forward is disentangling the two by providing a personalized content feed based on what you want to watch, not what your friends post.”
The new app is meant to be more personalized and is intended to more clearly distinguish content from friends and content from media partners, including influencers, whose use of the platform has dropped by 33%, according to a recent study from Mediakix. The drop in use, as Spiegel admitted in the company’s earnings call, comes from Snapchat’s historical neglect of the creator community.
New additions to the app include: A friends page that lists the friends users talk to the most; a redesigned Discover page with Stories from creators, publishers, and the other users (Snap Map, Search, and Our Stories) that match with the users preferences; management of users’ own Stories will now take place on their Profile page; Group Chat now automatically has its own optional Group Story option; and the Snapchat Map can now be seen on the Discover page and in Search.
In 2018, users can expect even more change as the company works towards providing Snapchat creators better distribution and monetization opportunities.
“Developing this ecosystem will allow artists to transition more easily from communicating with friends to creating Stories for a broader audience, monetizing their Stories, and potentially using our professional tools to create premium content,” added Spiegel during the earnings call. “In 2018, we are going to build more distribution and monetization opportunities for these creators in an effort to empower our creative community to express themselves to a larger audience and build a business with their creativity.”
The redesign may not have Influencers flocking back to the app just yet, but it’s the first step in mending a once strong relationship.