Snapchat update frustrates students on campus

A’sha Noble
Opinion Staff Writer

A controversial Snapchat update recently took place, leaving many users unable to easily navigate through the app.

“I cried when it updated,” said Danielle DePaolis, a sophomore art history student at UNC Asheville.

The app’s new update does not seem to be going over well with users, with many unimpressed to say the least.

“I don’t want the update. I use Snapchat on my old phone just so I don’t have to use the updated version. That’s my way around it,”said Katherine Tyrlik, a junior biology and French student.

To me, this seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through just in order to avoid the new format. I myself am not devoted to the old look.

“I’m not huge into Snapchat. I really just use it for friends,” Tyrlik said.

I find it hard to navigate, not just because the update makes the app new and different. Other users’ stories and direct messages both are located to the left of the main camera screen instead of on opposite sides, creating confusion for many. Stories and messages are no longer in chronological order. The new order is based off of who you have spoken with last. But who asked for this?

“We’ve all had the frustrating experience of scrolling endlessly through our chats to find the right person —  now your friends will be listed in the order that you want to talk to them,” the company posted to their blog November 29.

Snapchat user Isaac Svobodny took to directly messaging the company about the issue.

“Hey Snapchat, this update is terrible. How many RT’s would it take for you to change it back?” sent Isaac Svobodny to the company’s Twitter.

A snapshot of one of the earlier versions of the Snapchat app’s layout. Photo courtesy of Perzonseo Webbyra.

Surprisingly, Snapchat replied telling Svobodny if he could get 50,000 retweets, they would revert back to the old format. “The Snapchat update sucks. RT to save a life!” read the caption.

Svobodny’s tweet received over 1.4 million retweets and over 585,000 favorites making it Twitter’s fifth most-retweeted tweet of all time.

Another Snapchat user, Nic Rumsey, started a petition on advocating for a reversal. Over 1 million people have signed and left numerous comments.

“This petition aims to help convince Snap Inc. to change the app back to the basics, before the new 2018 update,” Rumsey said.

Celebrities have even jumped on the bandwagon tweeting about the update and asking for changes.

“Mm just saw the new Snapchat. I don’t know how I feel about it! What do you guys think?” tweeted Kylie Jenner, reality television star.

The company released a statement about the new updates on their blog.

“The new Snapchat separates the social from the media. This means that the Chats and Stories from your friends are on the left side of Snapchat, and the Stories from publishers, creators and the community are on the right,” stated the blog post.

The company divided your friends from celebrities in efforts to separate your personal life. It seems as though the company had the right intentions.

Model Chrissy Teigen tweeted that she missed the old Snapchat and the relationship she had with her followers on the platform.

“I liked that you guys felt like we were friends. I’m sad it doesn’t feel like that anymore,” Teigen said.

Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel does not seemed worried about all of the bad press and opinions. He attended a Goldman Sachs investor event where he was very vocal about the company’s changes and his reasons behind each decision.

Spiegel reminded the audience that celebrities are just that, celebrities. We start to feel as if we know them through social media but that is not the case.

“Until now, social media has always mixed photos and videos from your friends with content from publishers and creators. While blurring the lines between professional content creators and your friends has been an interesting Internet experiment, it has also produced some strange side-effects, like fake news, and made us feel like we have to perform for our friends rather than just express ourselves,” said the company in a blog post.

Snapchat has become a place for users to start their theatrical productions of the day.  While I understand what they were trying to do, they went about it in the wrong way when they automatically updated the app. This gave users no choice but to try to get used to the new format.

“The next morning Buzzfeed posted an article about how to get rid of the stupid update,” DePaolis said. “My roommate and I spent 3 hours trying to get rid of this update. We finally got it to the point where the format was back to normal then woke up to it updated once again. It was horrible.”


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