Wednesday, 15 August 2018
News Tech

Snapchat is bringing Stories back to Discover

Snapchat redesignSnapchat’s redesign in three screens.Snap

  • In February, Snapchat released a controversial app redesign that triggered backlash from users — including celebrity users like Kylie Jenner and Chrissy Teigen.  
  • The main complaint: The redesign separated celebrity Snapchat stories from those that came from your friends. 
  • Today, Snapchat confirmed that they are testing a new design that brings friends’ “Stories” back to the “Discover” page.
  • It’s still unclear whether this test will be deployed to every user.

After months of insisting that the controversial Snapchat redesign was here to stay, it looks like the ephemeral messaging app is considering a change of course.

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, confirmed with Business Insider on Tuesday that it’s begun testing a new design for the app that would walk back some of the biggest changes since the original redesign dropped in February.

To be specific, this design would reunite on the same page your friends’ Snapchat Stories with those that come from celebrities. Check out the screenshot provided by Snap:

Snapchat, redesign, Discover, Friends, storiesSnap Inc.

The test is only with a small number of users now, with no word on when, or if, it will come to all users. Details of this Snapchat design test were originally reported by Recode.

The separation of the two, across different pages of the app, was a major problem that users had with the redesign, and even frustrated celebrity power users like Kylie Jenner and Chrissy Teigen. Many users said that they valued that Snapchat made them feel as if they were friends with celebrities. 

Although this design does feel like a return to the app’s popular original design, there is still one major difference. As you can see from the screenshot, while celebrity and user content will be united on the Discover page, they’re still separated out in two different horizontal sliders. 

This adjustment feels like a natural compromise between the two very different previous designs. To that end, it allows Snap to continue its recent philosophy of clearly and actively distinguishing between content that comes from average users, and content that comes from celebrities and publishers.

“We are always listening to our community and will continue to test updates that we hope will give Snapchatters the best possible experience on our platform,” said Snap spokesperson, in an email with Business Insider.

This reflects a dramatic change in tone since just a couple months ago, when roughly 1.2 million signed an online petition pleading with Snapchat developers to undo the update. Team Snapchat gave no indication that the petition moved them, and CEO Evan Spiegel said publicly that the uproar only gave him more confidence.

Even the complaints we’re seeing reinforce the philosophy. The frustrations we’re seeing really validate those changes,” said Spiegel, just weeks after the redesign rolled out. Now, it seems, he’s more willing to meet users in the middle. 

Get the latest Snap stock price here.

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