Snap Out of Panic Over Snapchat’s New Look

Image courtesy of Perzonseo Webbyra | Flickr

Spencer Wu
Copy Editor

Many users have been fired up about the new Snapchat update. The photo and video messaging app has received heavy criticism for merging the chat panel with the Stories feature, confusing everyday users who had zero qualms with the previous format. Users were also upset because they claim that the app updated automatically without their consent, but their app settings say otherwise.

On Snapchat’s Update FAQ, the developers state that they “hope to make it easier to stay in touch with friends, discover exciting new content from around the world, and just use the app in general.” I, for one, am not an avid Snapper, so I admittedly found it more difficult to navigate the homepages upon seeing the update. However, I was even more more taken aback by the visceral reactions and horrendous reception that other users had than the actual update itself.

Snapchat has a history of slowly rolling out updates over its lifespan — tweaking and modifying its app. Although minimal and sometimes noticeable at first (making the best friends list anonymous, prolonging the duration one can view a snap, and adding new fonts and filters), changes can snowball into something as widely disliked as this newest update. The Twittersphere was inundated with complaints, memes, and even photoshopped DMs detailing that the update would be reversed if the post hits a certain “Like” or “Retweet” milestone.

For one, Colby Ledbetter (@ColbyLedBetter) garnered 163,000 retweets with his: “I guess email me since that’s easier than Snapchat now” tweet. Another example is Manny MUA’s tweet (@MannyMua733): “I’m still in SHOCK Snapchat hasn’t reversed it’s [sic] update yet..” with a GIF of a distressed and disappointed Tyra Banks yelling, “I was rooting for you. We were all rooting for you.” These two jabs at Snap Inc. are simply floating in a sea of frustration that people have voiced over Twitter.

Snapchat should not have made such drastic changes. Why fix something that isn’t broken? The previous layout served its purpose just fine. It’s a platform for people to broadcast their daily lives and keep up with current events, and that’s just the niche it filled.

However, such a minor inconvenience as a slightly more confusing feed should not have warranted a mass panic. Although people aren’t content with this change, it is troubling to see the amount of outrage that it garnered.

With this paradigm shift in the way we view snippets of other peoples’ lives, we have to re-evaluate the things that we fight for. In the end, it is just an app. People are focusing too much of their energy on an entirely trivial and meaningless application. A petition to “make Snapchat great again” by reversing the update amassed over 960,000 signatures as of Feb. 16, 2018. There are clearly more pressing matters than the merging of two panels on an app initially intended for soliciting nude pictures.

This application is supposed to be fun. It may be harder to search for your friends or adapt to a new look but getting worked up over a little change on an app shows a lot more about the people using it than the developers themselves.