by Brittany Greve
After a life-altering, world-shaking and catastrophic update, Snapchat has been getting hundreds of thousands of complaints. According to Forbes, Snapchat had 150 million daily active users globally and was valued at about $18 billion in May of 2016. However, Snapchat’s stock, SNAP, fell by 5.5 percent on Tuesday, Feb. 13. This fall correlates with the online campaign against the new Snapchat update created by Australian user Nic Rumsey, hitting 1.2 million signatures. According to CNBC, Rumsey said that the update “has, in fact, made many features more difficult” to use. As he wrote in the petition, “Many ‘new features’ are useless or defeat the original purposes Snapchat has had for the past years.”
It seems that this new update was Snapchat’s way of fighting back against competition from Instagram and Facebook stories, which have made it increasingly more difficult for them to continue to grow their base users. Chief Executive Officer Evan Spiegel said that the aim of the new update was to make the app “simpler and easier to use, especially for older users.” He went on to reassure investors that “the initial response to the app update had been positive.”
Despite this claim, students like Hailey Lara (‘21) say, “I don’t like how the new discover page is set up, there are popular stories included instead of it just being information and it seems way more cluttered than before.”
At the Goldman Sachs Internet and Technology Conference in San Francisco on Thursday, Feb. 15, Spiegel said that all users just need some time to get comfortable with the changes. “We’re excited about what we’re seeing so far and the best part is that even some of the complaints we’re seeing reinforce the philosophy [behind the design],” said Spiegel.
Though Spiegel says that there has been an overall positive response to the update, the reactions from users says something else. Marissa Broderick (‘21) says that it’s “too confusing to find stories, I don’t like how it separates public and private on opposite sides, and I notice now I get less views on my story because of [the update].”
According to the Independent, there has been a fake post promising the new Snapchat will be reversed going around on Twitter, and it is actually one of Twitter’s most popular posts ever. The tweet claims that if enough people retweet it, Snapchat will rethink the new update. The tweet has been shared by more than 1.5 million and is the fifth most retweeted post ever.
Snapchat has committed to keeping the update and has ensured users that all they need is some time to get used to the changes. They have told their investors that this update will help Snapchat make significantly more money than the old design. The company has also made clear it won’t fulfill the requests that people have made about reversing the update, regardless of what petitions are created.