Finally snapped: Snapchat’s new update has ruined the app
By MAGGIE MCCOTTER
A few weeks ago, Snap Inc. introduced an entirely new update to Snapchat and many users, including myself, were baffled at how the new update worked. The layout was confusing, stories weren’t in the same place, and ads were featured more than anything else. A petition went around during the first week of the release for Snap Inc. to revert back to the old layout, but so far nothing has come of it.
The Discover page is full of things I don’t care about. There are a huge number of stories from companies and organizations that I definitely did not sign up to see and I can’t get rid of them. Every story that is public or is a celebrity has some sort of ad that I have to click through before I can see the rest of it. It gets quite annoying, especially when the same ads play over and over.
Friends’ stories aren’t on a separate page from personal snap exchanges. I don’t personally send snaps to all of my friends on Snapchat. I actually talk to maybe 20 percent of them, but the other 80 percent I follow just to watch their stories. Now, I have to have every single friend that I’m snapping or not snapping on one page just to see their story, unlike the old Snapchat that had separate pages for messages and stories.
Public stories are mixed in with celebrity stories. Yes, I follow a few celebrities on Snapchat. I mean, who doesn’t want to see Kylie Jenner’s new lip kit being swatched on her arm? I am here for it, people. But unfortunately, I don’t watch these stories anymore because they’re all mixed up on my Discover page and it makes it harder to find them.
Friends’ stories are automatically played one after the other. This is something that really grinds my gears. Like mentioned before, I don’t want to watch everyone’s stories. I just want to watch a few and then be done with it! Now, Snapchat just automatically plays the next story instead of allowing the user to stop watching stories. It is pretty excessive, especially when I skip through the majority of the stories I don’t care about.
You also can’t tell who sent and who received your snaps. In the old Snapchat, the notification of a sent or received snap was large and easily seen. The update, however, made the notification insanely small compared to the Bitmoji icons and the friend’s name. The notifications have to get bigger for the app to stay user-friendly.
The Bitmoji icons make the screen too busy. It’s great that Snapchat and Bitmoji have partnered together, it really is. Before the update, the little icons were cute next to the person’s name when you looked at who viewed your story. Now though, I feel like it’s being shoved down my throat with every single one of my friends’ Bitmojis staring at me from my home page. It’s creepy and unnecessary.
Adding to your story is a huge hassle. Last week I finally figured out how to add to my story and see who viewed it. My little brother had to show me. That makes me feel about ten times older than I actually am, so thanks for that, Snapchat. Also, if you have multiple stories, you have to tap on the “My Story” icon multiple times just to make sure all of them are uploaded. All I want to do is show the world how delicious my food looks, why does it have to be so complicated now?
Stories aren’t in chronological order. When Instagram switched to showing the most popular posts first, many people got upset, but the consolation was that Snapchat stayed chronological. We all figured it would stay that way because it makes more sense. Well, obviously we were wrong because one of my friends could post a story and I may not see it until I click through five other stories from the previous day. No one wants this, we just want to see everything in the order it was posted.
You can’t rewatch a story as easily as before. To rewatch a story, you have to search for the person and then click through their entire story to get to the part you want to rewatch. If I want to see a video of a dog on campus and try and figure out where it is, I want to easily access that so I can find the dog and pet it!
The “Send To” screen is confusing and not organized. The Bitmoji epidemic strikes again. Those creepy little people are staring at me while I scroll through trying to find the person I want to snap and the names are three times smaller than they were before. Group chats are also not included in your friend list, they’re now in a little scroll box at the top that you have to swipe through to get to the right group. It’s also so much easier to send a snap to someone you may not want to because the boxes of friends’ names are so close together. This can turn into a pretty embarrassing or strange conversation that both parties definitely don’t want.
From what I’ve seen, Instagram stories are becoming increasingly popular, especially with the Boomerang feature. Many of my friends have entirely ditched Snapchat and switched to those stories, but will that really last for long? Snapchat has become so ingrained in the social media world that I believe it will be very difficult for it to become obscure. Changing a few things, like keeping a separate page for messaging and stories, would be beneficial and keep users on the app. The company believes though, that users will adjust to the update within two months. Let the countdown begin.