Longtime Snapchat users should prepare themselves for a radical overhaul of the way the mobile app works, based on comments made by Snap CEO Evan Spiegel in his earnings letter to investors on Tuesday.

With the company falling short of lowered projections for growth, Snap put much of the blame on the fact that the social platform is simply a mystery to outsiders. "One thing we have heard over the years is that Snapchat is difficult to understand or hard to use," wrote Spiegel. "Our team has been working on responding to this feedback."

snapchatcontextcards
Few details were provided on the planned redesign, but Snapchat said it was working on an algorithm to show people a more personalized version of the stories they might want to see.

"We are developing a new solution that provides each of our 178 million daily active users with their own Stories experience," wrote Spiegel, "leveraging the tremendous benefits of machine learning without compromising the editorial integrity of the Stories platform that we have worked so hard to build."

Spiegel said that the changes would make it easier for users to see content from people who aren't their friends, but that private conversations between close friends would remain a bulwark of the app.

The esoteric nature of the social platform has apparently moved Snap to make these drastic changes, but the danger is that it could alienate existing users. However, Spiegel said the company was willing to bear the consequences.

"There is a strong likelihood that the redesign of our application will be disruptive to our business in the short term, and we don't yet know how the behavior of our community will change when they begin to use our updated application," Spiegel said in his prepared remarks to investors. "We're willing to take that risk for what we believe are substantial long-term benefits to our business."

Snap's third quarter revenue was $207.9 million, not the $235.5 million analysts had predicted. Shares fell as much as 22 percent in extended trading as a result, before recovering slightly to trade down 17 percent.

Sales estimates for Snap have been dropping since its March initial public offering, with the company apparently unable to clearly explain to advertisers how Snapchat works, despite providing investors with detailed instructions during its initial PO. The lack of a news feed and no ability to share, like, or comment on posts has also proved a stumbling block.

Against this backdrop, Facebook's habit of copying Snapchat features and building them into its own apps has only weakened the uniqueness of Snap's offering in the social media landscape - a key factor of the company's business model. It remains to be seen exactly what a redesign will mean for Snapchat and its users, and no timeline for the rollout has been made public.

Update 11/9: Business Insider reports that Snapchat’s redesign is planned to debut on December 4.

Tags: Snapchat, Snap

Top Rated Comments

Maetzle Avatar
59 months ago
Whilst I'm not really interested in Snapchat I have to say that this is a good move. I downloaded it once because friends were bugging me to use it, but I got way too annoyed at the interface. Just couldn't figure out how to get where I wanted. Guess I'm getting old.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pagemakers Avatar
59 months ago
Horrible, messy, complex app to use.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
christarp Avatar
59 months ago
Whilst I'm not really interested in Snapchat I have to say that this is a good move. I downloaded it once because friends were bugging me to use it, but I got way too annoyed at the interface. Just couldn't figure out how to get where I wanted. Guess I'm getting old.
Same situation here. A month or so ago I decided to cave and download it and it was a mess of an interface. Truly a horrendous experience.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
taptic Avatar
59 months ago
"Radical overall"

Hopefully an understatement for this pile of garbage.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ILikeAllOS Avatar
59 months ago
In addition to the horrible interface, the 2 other problems are that
[LIST=1]
* Snapchat has forgotten why people originally used the app. It was always for sending nudes and having them delete after being viewed and alerting the user if a screenshot is taken. Now they are doing everything they can to do the opposite, to make everything as public as possible.
* Everyone is just moving to Instagram.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iReality85 Avatar
59 months ago
Whilst I'm not really interested in Snapchat I have to say that this is a good move. I downloaded it once because friends were bugging me to use it, but I got way too annoyed at the interface. Just couldn't figure out how to get where I wanted. Guess I'm getting old.
Same exact situation here. I used it briefly not long after it had originally come out, years ago, and remember thinking the UI was terrible. Not intuitive at all. Then, about 2 years ago, I re-downloaded it (my account still existed) after being pestered by a friend, and it was still terrible. Haven't used it since and don't intend to.


In addition to the horrible interface, the 2 other problems are that
[LIST=1]
* Snapchat has forgotten why people originally used the app. It was always for sending nudes and having them delete after being viewed and alerting the user if a screenshot is taken. Now they are doing everything they can to do the opposite, to make everything as public as possible.
* Everyone is just moving to Instagram.

That's exactly why people used it. I know because my friends did that sort of thing. Then about a year ago, I saw some of my friends using the app for tracking each other's whereabouts... why the hell would you do that? People really want themselves to be tracked all the time? They clearly thought it was neat to be able to see where everyone in their group was at all times. Maybe at my "old" age of 32 I'm uncool, but I think that's super creepy.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

RIP iPod Feature

RIP iPod: A Look Back at Apple's Iconic Music Player Over the Years

Friday May 13, 2022 2:25 pm PDT by
Apple earlier this week announced the discontinuation of the iPod touch, and because it was the last iPod still available for purchase, its sunsetting effectively marks the end of the entire iPod lineup. To send the iPod on its way, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the most notable iPod releases over the last 21 years. Original iPod (2001) Introduced in October...
iOS 16 mock for article

Gurman: iOS 16 to Include New Ways of System Interaction and 'Fresh Apple Apps'

Sunday May 15, 2022 6:14 am PDT by
iOS 16 will include new ways of interacting with the system and some "fresh Apple apps," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has said, offering some more detail on what Apple has in store for the upcoming release of iOS and iPadOS set to be announced in a few weeks at WWDC. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman wrote that while iOS 16 is not likely to introduce a major face-lift to...
maxresdefault

Unbox Therapy Shares Hands-On Look at iPhone 14 Pro Max Replica

Monday May 16, 2022 4:40 am PDT by
YouTuber Unbox Therapy has shared a hands-on look at the iPhone 14 Pro Max using what he claims is a one-to-one replica created by third-party case makers with access to detailed schematics and dimensions for Apple's new upcoming flagship smartphone. As with the iPhone 13 Pro lineup, in 2022, we are expecting a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, but this time the Pro...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 With Wallet and Podcast Updates

Monday May 16, 2022 10:00 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5, the fifth major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were initially released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.5 come a little over two months after the launch of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. The iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in...
14 16 inch 2021 mbps back to back feature orange

Five Things You Still Can't Do With a MacBook Pro

Wednesday May 11, 2022 11:16 am PDT by
It's been over 200 days since Apple debuted its redesigned MacBook Pro lineup. Offered in 14-inch and 16-inch display sizes, the new-look MacBooks wowed Apple fans and creative pros alike with their powerful custom Apple silicon, mini-LED screen, and multiple connectivity options. But there are still some things you can't do with a MacBook Pro. Here are five features some Mac users are still...
apple mac ipad watch trade in

Apple Launches Limited-Time Bonus Trade-In Credit for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch in Many Countries

Wednesday May 11, 2022 5:14 am PDT by
Apple has launched a special limited-time offer for iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, and iPad trade-in that offers customers additional credit when trading in their only device for a new one. The offer is being run in several countries including the US, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, India, and France. In the UK, Apple is offering up to £50 of extra trade-in credit...
airpodsprodesign

Kuo: AirPods, MagSafe Battery Pack, and Other Apple Accessories Also to Switch to USB-C in Future

Sunday May 15, 2022 5:59 am PDT by
Earlier this week, well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that Apple plans to release at least one iPhone 15 model with a USB-C port in 2023. Now, in a follow-up tweet, he has claimed that accessories like AirPods, the MagSafe Battery Pack, and the Magic Keyboard/Mouse/Trackpad trio would also switch to USB-C in the "foreseeable future." Both the iPhone and all of the aforementioned...