Many Snapchat (SNAP) users hate the redesign that began rolling out earlier this month — and Instagram may be reaping the benefits.
New data released by LikeFolio, which analyzed tweets about Snapchat since the start of 2018, reveals a huge spike in negative sentiment about the app since the app rolled out its all-new user interface en masse earlier this month.
Snapchat’s redesign is its biggest change to date, ditching the previous tried-and-true format that divided sections into Chat, Stories, and Discover and removing the dedicated Stories feed completely. In its place is a new Friends section which combines Chat and Stories from friends, while the new version of Discover, also features some Stories from publishers and the community.
Those changes have Snapchat’s loyal community up in arms. Model Chrissy Teigen tweeted her disapproval of the redesign, while more than 840,000 angry users have so far signed a Change.org petition calling for parent company Snap to revert the app back to the original design.
Indeed, as of Tuesday, nearly 80% of all conversations about Snapchat which contained sentiment — users expressing feelings one way or another about the change — were negative, even downright scathing, according to LikeFolio.
To wit, here are just a few examples of Snapchat user vitriol on Twitter (TWTR):
We hate the new redesign, do yourself a favour and restore Snapchat back to the way it was before you guys go bankrupt. No one can use this new update, Snapchat was fine the way it was before.
— Rosie (@baby_shawnnnn) February 13, 2018
The snapchat redesign is truly awful. Mixes 1-to-many stories with 1-to-1 messages in a confusing way, reordering conversations essentially randomly throughout the day depending on when friends post stories. People often hate redesigns because they hate change, but this is bad.
— David Rosenblum (@TweetByDavid) February 12, 2018
Snapchat’s redesign controversy could have unintended consequences — or rather benefits — for competitor Instagram, which cribbed Snapchat’s Stories format and rolled out a version of its own in August 2016. The move proved an extremely savvy one for Instagram, with 300 million people using Instagram Stories everyday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed in November.
That number could be even higher now, thanks to Snapchat. LikeFolio predicts that while Snapchat’s redesign isn’t likely to significantly boost Instagram’s overall user base, it does appear to have a positive effect on the number of people using the Instagram Stories feature inside the Instagram app. To wit, “purchase intent” around Instagram Stories — people talking about switching over from Snapchat to use it — saw a significant increase during the same time period negative sentiment regarding Snapchat spiked in early February.
“Snapchat users absolutely hate the new interface,” LikeFolio’s report concluded. “Instagram looks to be a beneficiary of this, as frustrated Snapchat users begin relying on the Instagram Stories feature instead of Snapchat.”
Those conclusions are backed by anecdotal evidence:
— Jordan D. Johnson (@WhatTheFricativ) February 12, 2018
To be fair, big changes, particularly on social platforms, almost always make waves. Whenever Facebook (FB) makes a major tweak to its News Feed algorithm, for instance, a small group of users revolt. That seems to be the case with Snapchat’s redesign, although the ruckus seems much louder than usual. What remains to be seen is whether the furor eventually dies down and users get used to the changes, or whether Snapchat engagement is somehow permanently hurt in the long-term.
More from JP:
- Facebook’s ‘Downvote’ is the closest we’ll ever get to a Dislike button
- African American and Hispanic tech workers still earn less than their white counterparts
- Tech salaries in LA and Austin are catching up with Silicon Valley
- Analyst: Apple Music still has huge, untapped market potential
- Why eBay’s decision to drop PayPal is a good thing
- Instacart CEO: Voice recognition is coming in the next 12 months