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After seeing its growth stunted by Facebook’s similar products, Snapchat is pondering a number of changes to the app.
In a Q3 2017 investors presentation, CEO Evan Spiegel announced a forthcoming “disruptive” change to the app that will reportedly make it simpler to use.
“One thing that we have heard over the years is that Snapchat is difficult to understand or hard to use, and our team has been working on responding to this feedback. As a result, we are currently redesigning our application to make it easier to use,” said Spiegel.
“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.
“We’re willing to take that risk for what we believe are substantial long-term benefits to our business,” he affirmed.
Sidenote: this announcement comes after a lacklustre Q3 2017 earnings report filed by Snapchat’s owner, Snap Inc.
The business failed to meet its expected revenue and daily active user growth targets, earning just under US$208-million in revenue, and recording a loss of nearly US$40-million due to overstocked Snapchat Spectacles — the company’s adventurous foray into wearables.
Snapchat also gained just under five-million new users, with 178-million now snapping daily. And while that suggests its growing more quickly than Twitter, it still pales in comparison to its chief rivals, WhatsApp and Instagram.
The redesign won’t only affect the Snapchat app’s furniture, but will also allow content to be more easily discovered, Spiegel claimed.
“As part of the redesign I mentioned earlier, we are going to make it easier to discover the vast quantity of content on our platform that goes undiscovered or unseen every day.
“We think that there is a big opportunity to surface some of this content in a personalized and more relevant way, while still maintaining the exploratory nature of our service,” noted Spiegel.
The CEO also suggested a “new solution” that employs machine learning to improve the Stories experience.
“As part of our efforts around Search and Maps, we now index millions of Stories every day, meaning we have the long tail of content necessary to provide a truly personal experience,” he noted.
Spiegel failed to provide an overall idea of the redesign, or a proposed timeline for rollout, but improving user experience is a positive step in what Spiegel bills “a productive and exciting” 2018 for the company.