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
45 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
45 months ago
Horrible, messy, complex app to use.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
christarp Avatar
45 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
45 months ago
"Radical overall"

Hopefully an understatement for this pile of garbage.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ILikeAllOS Avatar
45 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
45 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)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
pixel watch prosser leak

Google Pixel Watch Allegedly Leaks with Circular Design, Rumored to Launch in October

Monday April 12, 2021 2:49 am PDT by
Renders of Google's first smartwatch, codenamed "Rohan," have been shared by Jon Prosser, showing that Google plans to adopt a circular design for its flagship wearable watch. Prosser shared the renders in an episode of his YouTube show "Front Page Tech," in which he claims they were made based on marketing material he had seen from a source within Google. The renders show that the Pixel...
AppleTV and HomePod Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on New Apple TV With Integrated HomePod Speaker and FaceTime Camera

Monday April 12, 2021 3:32 am PDT by
Apple is working on a combined Apple TV with HomePod speaker that has a camera for video calls through a connected television set, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions,...
nba tracking prompt orange

Two-Thirds of iPhone Users Expected to Block Ad Tracking

Friday April 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
As many as 68 percent of iPhone users are expected to deny advertisers permission to track them thanks to Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, in what is beginning to look like a significant blow to the advertising industry (via AdWeek). With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps will have to receive explicit user permission before accessing an iPhone's advertising identifier or IDFA, which is...
fake airpods 3

Counterfeit 'AirPods 3' Hit the Market Prior to Official Announcement

Friday April 9, 2021 2:45 am PDT by
Apple is expected to launch the third iteration of AirPods in the third quarter of this year. Rumors and reports suggest the new AirPods will feature an updated design more in line with the AirPods Pro, but lacking in "Pro" features such as active noise cancellation. Despite AirPods 3 not yet being officially announced by Apple, counterfeit products of the unreleased earbuds have already hit ...
Top Stories 56 Feature

Top Stories: 'Find My' Expansion, iPhone 13 Pro Mockup, Largest-Ever iMac?

Saturday April 10, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's AirTags may still be nowhere to be seen nearly two years after signs of them were first discovered, but Apple this week launched its Find My network accessory program that will let third-party devices integrate with the Find My app on Apple's platforms to make it easy to keep track of your items. This week also saw fresh rumors about the upcoming "iPhone 13" and new iMacs, while...
ehric

iPhone 12 Mini Missing From Top 5 Best Selling Smartphone List of January 2021

Friday April 9, 2021 4:58 am PDT by
According to market data compiled by Counterpoint Research, Apple's smallest iPhone since the 2016 iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini, struggled to obtain a spot in the top five list of best-selling smartphones in January of this year. According to the market data, the iPhone 12 mini came in eighth place for the best-selling smartphone worldwide in the first month of the year. However, the iPhone ...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
epic iap feature 3

Tim Cook Says App Store Would Become a 'Flea Market' if Third-Party Payment Systems Were Allowed

Monday April 12, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
In a recent interview with the Toronto Star, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about a wide variety of topics, ranging from App Tracking Transparency to Apple's ongoing legal battle over App Store policies with Fortnite creator Epic Games. Notably, Cook said that Epic Games' desire for Apple to let developers offer their own payment systems in apps "would make the App Store a flea market":At the...