Last week Snapchat rolled out its biggest redesign since the app launched in 2011. The recent update drastically changed the way the app is set up, and also changed the way that users interact with the app and service. People are not happy.
The update split the app into two major sections: friend content to the left, and media content to the right. The app still opens to the camera front and center.
Snapchat’s massive teen userbase is outraged at the update, and already desperately trying to get the old version back.
A fake tweet claiming that Snapchat would revert back to its old design if it got enough retweets received 1.3 million retweets as of Sunday afternoon and has become the sixth most retweeted tweet of all time.
Thousands of other teens spent the weekend tweeting about the update and begging the company to reconsider its choice. Many posted to their Stories about how much they hated the new redesign under the misguided notion that Snapchat might read their messages and reconsider the rollout.
A Change.org petition to “Remove the new Snapchat update” has received nearly half a million signatures.
“With the release of the new Snapchat update, many users have found that it has not made the app easier to use, but has in fact made many features more difficult,” the plea reads. “Many ‘new features’ are useless or defeat the original purposes Snapchat has had for the past years.”
“The new Snapchat update is cluttered, confusing, and inefficient,” Ava, a 17-year-old in San Carlos, California, told The Daily Beast. “It’s the most disliked update since the beginning of Snapchat. Although Snapchat is my most used app on my phone, I have been using it considerably less since the update and am seriously considering deleting the app.”
For teens and young twentysomethings, the Snapchat redesign is the first time a tech platform that they rely on daily has been radically altered overnight.
Many said they were left confused and reeling and weren’t even aware that Snapchat was planning an overhaul, they simply woke up one day to find the app looked completely different.
Though it remains to be seen whether growth in older users comes at the expense of younger users. One young user noted that for the first time, she felt like an old person trying to use a piece of new technology. The layout just made no sense.
Chances are very good that Snap Inc. isn’t particularly concerned about the outcry. Considering users aren’t willing to stop using the service, the company probably figures they’ll just stop complaining eventually, or maybe just maybe, they’ll learn to love the app updates and find something else to complain about.
When Facebook rolled out radically redesigned profile pages in 2008 a “Petition against the new Facebook” gained more than a million members and hundreds of thousands of young users begged Zuckerberg to “Bring back old Facebook,” threatening to boycott the platform if it didn’t cede to their demands.
Facebook stayed the course and the platform now has more than 2 billion monthly active users.