by Alice Monroe
There’s plenty that’s happened this year – to say that 2018 has been as dramatic as any other this decade is putting it mildly on many news fronts – but for Snapchat users, it’s been a year where certain changes were made, and not all of them were well-received. Earlier this year, users of the photo and video-sharing app were given a surprise new facelift – and not one based around any of the program’s famous filters – as the user interface for the platform was redesigned, relocating some of the more popular features to new areas. The changes were met with widespread dismay, though Snap Inc remained firm and advised that the changes would eventually be welcomed by users. In fairness, Facebook has changed face and shape so much over the years that it’s hard to remember what ‘old’ Facebook circa 2006 looked like – though we’re sure it’s easy to find out.
Despite determination to stick to the new UI, there was some damage done to Snapchat in the bargain. The firm’s stock value received a pinch following Kylie Jenner appearing to suggest she rarely used the app on social media – showing just how important celebrity endorsement still is in this day and age – and, according to recent reports, it appears that the app actually lost a fair few users as a result of the redesign. This might not be too surprising, but consider that up until the new UI, Snapchat had only been gaining users – this first negative dip becomes all the more distressing.
▶ Snapchat's Redesign Causes Drop In Numbers
It’s estimated that this first-ever negative user growth report saw around three million daily and active users depart the platform completely – which insiders and experts continue to pin on the unpopular platform redesign. Petitioning gained over a million signatures to get the UI changed back to how it once was – and the brand’s value has also taken a hit. The firm, however, remain optimistic. “We feel that we have now addressed the biggest frustrations we’ve heard and are eager to make more progress on the tremendous opportunity we now have to show more of the right content to the right people,” advised Evan Spiegel, CEO.
▶ What's behind Snapchat's drop in users?
This may be so – but the negative growth indicator is not a healthy sign – will the UI design ever be reverted? Time will tell what Snapchat chooses to do next.