Snapchat redesign is out in Canada and Australia, and people aren’t happy

Snapchat’s redesign was meant to make the app easier. For now, it’s mostly causing anger. 

On Thursday, Snapchat users in Canada were surprised with the new design. The automatic update is live in Australia, the U.K., and has been beta tested with users worldwide. But it hasn’t rolled out everywhere yet — most noticeably, to its largest market the U.S. (Maybe American users should be thankful, because so far the results aren’t pretty.) 

A quick search of “Snapchat update” in Twitter leads to hundreds of tweets from frustrated users. 

Snapchat announced the redesign in October and spoke with outlets, including Mashable, on what it would look like. The biggest changes include adding more algorithms and removing the Stories page. All friends’ Stories are now available on the left side of the app and are listed by frequency of conversation, not necessarily chronologically. The Discover page, once a section for a dozen media partners, now includes celebrities and sections of Snap Maps.

For Snapchat, the update is a major push to make the app easier to use and therefore inspire more engagement from new and old users. The changes to Discover is a bid to social influencers and celebrities, who may be able to get more followers this way. 

Mashable chatted with a dozen Snapchat users on what they liked and didn’t like about the update. The general consensus: Bring old Snapchat back. 

“It’s very difficult to find stories of people you want to see that don’t follow you back mixed in with that,” said Steven Hall, who’s had the update for about a month. “It’s not in chronological order and I can’t see any logic to how it’s displayed.”

When asked about pros and cons, one Canadian college student responded over Twitter direct message with, “I have a lot of cons. I really don’t know where the Stories are since they’re not all on one page so I feel like I’m missing out on something.” 

“I don’t like how they’ve separated my normal friends’ stories and put them on one page but then have the famous/popular Snapchat users on the other side where all the media is. I’m also really not a fan of how you can’t play all the stories consecutively anymore and instead it now asks if you want to watch the next person’s story,” she continued. 

Even a pro turned into a con for this user: “I guess something I like about the update is that they now play all the media stories one after another, but even then, half the things it plays I don’t even care about,” she said.

Of course, not everyone is hating on the update. 

“It’s not bad, but it took me a while to get used to it,” said Hope Louise from Staffordshire, England who’s had the update for a month. “I love that it separates friends from influencers, but the layout is so different that it’s very confusing in the first few days/weeks.”

The story of resistance may sound familiar, especially to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. When Facebook introduced the News Feed in 2006, users created Facebook Groups dedicated to protesting the change. 

“I think sometimes it’s just people being resistant to change. However this seems like Snapchat putting monetization ahead of its users, and if they don’t play it well, they’re going to alienate the people who made them who they are,” said Timothy Armo, CEO of Fanbytes, a platform for Snapchat influencers.

Snapchat has been busy on Twitter, telling users that they can’t revert back to the old version.

Snapchat declined to comment on when the update will roll out in the U.S. and to all users, but the support account hinted that it’s imminent. 

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