Here's What Snapchat's Desperate Gamble on a Redesign Allegedly Looks Like
Snapchat, which desperately needs to attract more users as its parent company Snap finds itself swirling the drain just eight months post-IPO (itâs fucked), announced in an earnings report earlier this week it is planning a major redesign in an attempt to attract a new demographic (the olds). According to Business Insider, the launch date for Snapâs last-ditch gamble is pretty soon: December 4th.
Per the Business Insider report, sources say that date is the internal target for a redesign that would move around some of the appâs key workings. While the app will still open directly to a camera, it will no longer split direct messages from friends in a âChatâ section accessed from the left side of the screen from the shared âStoriesâ section on the right. Instead, all content from a Snapchat userâs social ne twork will be accessed from a single point on the left side of the screen.
On the right side, Snapchat will be merging user-crowdsourced video from events with âcontent produced by Snapchatâs publishing partners like NBC and BuzzFeedâ in a section called âOur Stories.â Additionally, the right side of the screen will show videos from verified celebrities. The content displayed in this section will be algorithmically decided to create an âendlessâ feed, and itâs not clear how that will affect the 70-plus media companies currently found in the appâs âDiscoverâ section.
Weâve reached out to Snap for confirmation that Business Insiderâs account is indeed what the redesign will really entail, and weâll update this post if we hear back.
The proposed changes do seem user-friendly, and they certainly show that Snap wants to make sure users have the opportunity to access a wider variety of content more easily. But at the end of the day, Snapchat originated as a cool way to trade secret messages and dick pics with friends and itâs not clear how many of its 178 million current users will respond to the changes. Many of the companyâs current woes seem to stem from its failure to break into a mass-media market where its competitors have most of the advantages and are stealing its ideas.
Itâs not clear that the problem is really Snapchatâs layout, but that, well, everything it does can be done on platforms with much larger market share. Whatever novelty Snapchat has left has gradually diminished as itâs aged or sought out ill-advised ways to push ads, and almost all of its features have been appropriated by larger competitors like Facebook and particularly Facebookâs subsidiary Instagram. Snapchat has also blown lots of money on things like Snap Spectacles, which it produced in heavy excess of demand to a loss of at least $39.9 million (in the larger context of a last-quar ter loss of $443 million). Its experiments with augmented reality have been cool, but havenât been revolutionary or changed how people use the app.
But as the company made clear in its earnings report, taking the risk of a redesign is necessary, because otherwise the whole business is likely to come crashing down.
âThere is a strong likelihood that the redesign of our application will be disruptive to our business in the short term,â Snap wrote. â... Weâre willing to take that risk for what we believe are substantial longterm benefits to our business.â
[Business Insider]Source: Google News