POV

Snapchat Simplifies Design to Drive New User Growth

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Background

Snapchat recently announced an app redesign, sparking massive news and press coverage. The move is intended to drive user growth, improve user experience and increase engagement. The updates will be simple: separate friend communication from media consumption and personalize the content served based on what each user watches most, adopting an algorithmic approach. The update will slowly roll out to everybody over the month of December.

The redesign will not affect advertising on the platform and Snapchat will continue to show ads between user’s stories, within live stories and in discover placements.

The New Design

Users will swipe to the left of the camera to access conversations with their friends and swipe to the right to consume Discover content from premium publishers, creators, and curated live stories.

Resolution POV:

This is not the first time a social media platform has undergone a redesign to improve their interface — Facebook has updated their user experience many times over the years. What we’ve seen is that after a redesign is launched, users easily adapt to the new interface and often forget the old design. With this redesign, Snapchat is attempting to simplify their app to both maintain current users and attract new users who may have found the previous platform difficult to use. Additionally, in implementing an algorithm based on relevance rather than recency Snapchat will move another step in the right direction towards personalization. Content control features such as “see less” and “swipe down” will also help users train the algorithm to influence future content.

Summary

Redesigns are common for social platforms and often end unceremoniously. However, the impact of Snapchat’s redesign will be gauged over the next quarter and whether these updates will push the needle far enough on new user growth remains to be seen. Resolution will continue to partner with Snapchat to drive insight on performance. Please reach out to your Resolution team to learn more.