Snapchat’s Latest Update: The Gift Nobody Asked For
by Kathryn Merck
Almost every high school student in America uses Snapchat. The concept is simple: take a picture of yourself, send it to your friends, and repeat for days to keep a “streak.” However, many students at Northside were shocked to open their phones to a Snapchat format that had rearranged itself, completely ruining the app for some high schoolers and dissatisfying many more.
In a blog published last year, Snapchat said the update was designed to separate content produced by friends and professionals. “Until now, social media has always mixed photos and videos from your friends with content from publishers and creators,” it wrote. “While blurring the lines between professional content creators and your friends has been an interesting Internet experiment, it has also produced some strange side-effects (such as fake news) and made us feel like we have to perform for our friends rather than just express ourselves.”
Though the update is automatically reaching most phones within the first week of February, Snapchat informed the public that an update was approaching weeks before the update hit. Snapchat provided its users with new fonts for messages, Bitmoji updates, and a way to separate large accounts from our friends’ accounts. The update also features a new format of viewing Snapchat stories, Snapchat’s way of uploading public content. Snapchat now has both stories and pictures from friends on the same page, which makes for a new and confusing home screen.
Northside students are extremely frustrated with the change. Joshua Tharpe, Adv. 806, told the HoofBeat, “I was only trying to take a picture of myself… why does Snapchat feel the need to make it way harder than it needs to be?” Nick Hughes, Adv. 804, said, “I don’t mind the fact that I recieve Snapchats in chronological order, but I do have the problem with the new way Snapchat wants us to view Snapchat stories. The stories are very inconvenient to access compared to the old format.” Noa Choi, 802 , said, “I used to be able to slide almost all the way to the right to view messages without actually opening the message. Now, instead of taking my time for each response, I have to respond right away.” Nicole Roc, 806, said, “Snapchat got even uglier.”
Millennial dissatisfaction with the app expands beyond Northside, and Snapchat is now suffering economically. After Kylie Jenner tweeted, “Does anyone else not use Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me... ugh this is so sad,” Snapchat’s stock closed down 6% on Thursday after the reality TV star said she is no longer using the app. The plunge wiped about $1.3 billion off of the company's market value.
With multiple accounts of backlash against this update, the ball is now in Snapchat’s hands. The HoofBeat will keep you updated on Snapchat’s next move