The Pioneer

Snapchat update causes a commotion among users

Nicole Nool,
Contributor

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Early in February, many Snapchat users were surprised to open what looked like a completely different application. The main difference between the old Snapchat and the new version is that the new interface creates two different sections to distinguish your “social” circle, from the “media.”

Originally, swiping left brought you to snaps and chats sent personally to you, while swiping right brought you to stories by all friends and public figures you follow, including a smaller section dedicated to entertainment content. But in the new redesign, swiping left will now show stories by your own friends, including the pictures and videos sent directly to you. Swiping right brings you to the “Discover Page,” which presents content shared by various public figures, content creators and other popular media outlets.

Snapchat is not the only popular mobile application trying to reinvent themselves. Instagram, for example, has received backlash for putting photos on their feed out of chronological order and replacing them with photos and videos that have garnered more likes and views. Similar to Instagram, but in contrast to Snapchat, Facebook has veered away from sponsored ads and posts from businesses on our feed and now puts more focus on content from our own friends and family.

Created in 2011 by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown, Snapchat is an image and video messaging application that allows you to quickly send photos and videos to a specific person, or everyone who follows your account. The big twist is that photos or videos sent to a specific person or group disappear in a matter of seconds while your “Story,” or whatever is shared with the public disappears after 24 hours.

The app also came to prominence during a time where social media was dominated by Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Snapchat is most popular among millennials, with 28 percent of users being age 18 to 24 and 77 percent of users are college students, according to the website Statista. It is also used by many celebrities to connect on a more personal level with their fans, as well as a platform for share today’s pop culture.

Snapchat has gone through several new features throughout the years: the original “bestfriends,” to the inclusion of “Stories,” face-changing filters and the discover page to name a few. Snapchat’s major revamp has seen mostly negative reactions with it’s users. Many have boycotted against the new update, with one user, Nic Ramsey, creating a petition on the website change.org titled “Remove the new Snapchat Update.”

The petition states “many ‘new features’ are useless or defeat the original purposes Snapchat has had for the past years.” He then adds, “This petition aims to help convince Snap Inc. to change the app back to the basics, before the new 2018 update.”

The petition has garnered over 1.2 million signatures, though it does not seem Snapchat is budging. Snap has since responded and reassures users that they will eventually adapt to the changes over time and will continue to “improve” it’s new features. In short, the application will not revert back to its old functions.

“Now with the new update, it’s confusing because the new discover page shows ‘popular’ stories and people I don’t even follow,” CSUEB student Jovill Pagay told The Pioneer. “If I didn’t follow them initially, what makes them think I’ll be interested in them now?”

Asishna Chandra, another CSUEB student says there’s a chance she might quit the application if Snapchat doesn’t do anything to improve its features.

“I don’t like the new update because of how confusing it is to view my friends stories and see their chats and snaps sent to me at the same time,” Chandra said. “I’m still on Snap right now, but I just might stop using it eventually.”

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California State University East Bay
Snapchat update causes a commotion among users