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The updated interface is a major change for the platform and emphasizes the separation of publisher content from friends’ photos and videos. Stories and messages from users’ friends will be featured to the left of the in-app camera, while vetted content from professional creators will be on the new Discover page on the right.
Previously, Stories from users’ friends were displayed alongside brands’ Stories and Publisher content.
With the redesign, Snapchat is addressing its slowing user growth rate. The platform’s daily active users (DAU) grew 3% in Q3 2017 from the previous quarter, down from a 4% growth rate in Q2 and 5% in Q1. Users have claimed the app is hard to understand, and an easier-to-use design could help retain these users while also bringing in new ones.
The redesign hopes to accomplish several things for Snapchat — simplify the user experience, and encourage content creation from both users and professional creators:
- Encourage user creation and communication. Users’ Stories will be displayed away from any professionally created Stories from brands or influencers. This could eliminate feelings of having to compete with professional content, encouraging users to post more Stories. This can also give Snapchat a leg up on Instagram, where Stories from friends, brands, and influencers currently are still displayed side-by-side.
- Improve discoverability for professional creators. Snapchat’s Discover page will create a personalized feed of content from its 70+ media partners for users. The feed will be mostly based on what type of content users have previously viewed and subscribed to. This can allow professional creators to be exposed to more of their target audience on Snapchat. On the other hand, it can help draw and retain users to Snap’s platform, too.
- And Snap hopes to foster a new variety of creators. Snapchat’s redesign will promote influencers to users who aren’t already following them for the first time. Users who have a certain amount of followers will appear as a “Popular Story” among content from publishers and media companies. This could help attract more influencers to the platform and address Snapchat’s issue of the relatively low loyalty influencers have to its platform. Right now, 46% of influencers would drop Snapchat before any other social platform, according to Adweek. Influencers could also help grow users.
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