Snapchat has posted an official response to users who signed a petition on Change.org asking the company to reverse its controversial update, which people say makes the app more difficult to use. In the response, Snapchat promises to make a few more changes to the Friends and Discover section in order to address user complaints.
These changes were announced yesterday, along with GIF stickers from Giphy.
The backlash against Snapchat has been growing in the months since the company rolled out a major revamp, which aimed to make the social app more accessible to a mainstream audience. Snapchat users have left the app bad reviews, complained on social media, turned to rival Instagram, and they signed a Change.org petition entitled, “Remove the new Snapchat update.”
Users are upset over a number of things in the new design, including the mixing of Stories in a single “Friends” page, increased difficulties with finding friends and rewatching Stories, and a revamped Discover section which combines content from professional creators, big news outlets, video makers, and social media stars.
Tweets complaining about the update have gone viral.
Celebrities, like Chrissy Teigen, and YouTuber Marques Brownlee (MKBHD), have also weighed in.
The Change.org petition didn’t delve into the specifics regarding the changes Snapchat users hate, but says the update is “annoying,” and has made “many features more difficult.” It asks Snap, Inc. to “change the app back to the basics.”
To date, Snapchat has been vigorously standing behind the update, with Snap CEO Evan Spiegel saying earlier this month that, basically, people just need time to get used to it.
“It’ll take time for people to adjust, but for me using it for a couple months I feel way more attached to the service,” said Spiegel.
The user backlash is reminiscent of the one Facebook had faced years ago, when users rebelled over the addition of News Feed which radically changed the Facebook experience. News Feed was ultimately a success; whether Snapchat can pull through is still unknown.
Snap’s earnings, however, pointed to the redesign’s potential to positively impact the company’s numbers. Publisher Stories on Discover grew 40 percent compared to the old design, and users older than 35 were engaging with the app more, the company said, when posting its first earnings beat.
But many users, right now, are not happy. As of February 13, 2018, the Change.org petition had grown to over 800,000 signatures. Today, it stands at 1,223,722, as of the time of writing.
Last night, Snapchat posted an official response to the petition, reiterating its stance but also promising a few tweaks that may help to address users’ concerns.
Specifically, the company said that “beginning soon on iOS and with Android in the coming weeks” it will introduce tabs in the Friends section and in Discover, which it says will make it easier for users to find the Stories they want. This update will let users sort things like Stories, Group Chats, and Subscriptions. (You can read more about this here.)
Whether these tabs will placate users who just want the old Snapchat back remains to be seen.
Snapchat’s full response is below:
FEB 20, 2018 — To Nic and all of the Snapchatters who signed this petition,
We hear you, and appreciate that you took the time to let us know how you feel. We completely understand the new Snapchat has felt uncomfortable for many.
By putting everything from your friends in one place, our goal was to make it easier to connect with the people you care about most. The new Friends page will adapt to you and get smarter over time, reflecting who you’re most likely to be Snapping with at that moment. This same personalization is also true of the new Discover, which will adapt to you the more that you use it.
Beginning soon on iOS, and with Android in the coming weeks, we are introducing tabs in Friends and Discover, which will make it easier to find the Stories that you want, when you want them. Once you receive the update, you’ll be able to sort things like Stories, Group Chats, and Subscriptions, allowing you to further customize your own experience on the app.
This new foundation is just the beginning, and we will always listen closely to find new ways to make the service better for everyone. We are grateful for your enthusiasm and creativity. We are very excited for what’s ahead.