Snapchat’s self-sabotage

The new Snapchat update is angering users, including myself. An online petition against the app update has collected over 1.2 million signatures so far, suggesting that the update is absolutely terrible.

The new update means that people’s ‘stories’ can no longer be viewed on the right-hand screen; in its place a ‘discovery page’ has been put there, where stories of public figures can be viewed as well as ad-supported short-form entertainment. As a result, simply viewing people’s ‘stories’ has become much more difficult as you can no longer view them as quickly.

Instead, one must tap the screen before each new user’s story uploads onto Snapchat. This is not the first update by Snapchat to garner controversy however; in June 2017, the release of ‘Snap Map’ was met with many concerns because it enables ‘friends’ on the app to see where you are, what you’re doing and when you’re doing it due to your position on the ‘Snap Map’.

However, at least with this update, each user had to opt-in to enable the feature. With the current Snapchat update, many users found their app, including my own, automatically updating to a version which was highly unpopular with most users.

Although constant updates on your phone/computer can be annoying, whether it be Snapchat or iTunes, their purpose is to improve the performance, stability, and security of the applications that run on your devices. Therefore, updates improve the overall efficiency of the app at hand.

However, this does not change the fact that the new Snapchat update is immensely unpopular with lifelong users, as it is such a drastic change from the old format. I used to love swiping across to the right-hand screen to have a cheeky browse through people’s stories, and even create a playlist of the stories I wanted to watch.

However I can no longer do this; instead I must flick through everyone’s stories in order to find the one I want to watch. Plus the discovery page is equally as difficult to navigate, as the celebrities’ stories are arranged in such a weird fashion that they are surrounded by advertisements and various tabloid posts.

This particular update is just one example of an unpopular update. For example, Apple’s new phone software iOS 11 is ruffling a few feathers for the battery is appearing to die a lot faster than before. Moreover, Instagram, the popular app to share various images and videos to your followers, copied Snapchat’s feature of posting ‘stories’ that are available to watch for twenty-four hours. Snapchat have issued a statement that they will alter some features of the new update, however returning completely to the old format does not seem likely.

This shows that the negative reviews have not been taken into account by Snapchat, for they are determined not to return to the old, more popular version of the app.


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Dorothy Reddin

July 2021
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