Is Snapchat preparing to finally reverse its redesign?

Is Snapchat preparing to finally reverse its redesign?

Snapchat is rolling out a redesign for its redesign in what is the strongest signal yet that it can no longer ignore the unpopularity of its recent changes.

Recode reports that a new look which once again integrates user-generated Stories with those from publishers, brands and celebrities is being rolled out to a small group of users. Although not a complete return to the design of old, it is a step in that direction.

However, Stories on the Discover page will remain confined to their own feed, so a Story from a friend will not then jump to celebrity Stories, as was previously the way.

Snap is for now describing the whole thing as a test, with a spokesperson saying: “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.”

Humble pie

Snapchat’s redesign was met with widespread dislike among its userbase, with over a million people signing a petition demanding it be ditched. Celebrities such as Kylie Jenner and Rihanna have in turn publicly slammed the company, leading to billions being wiped from the company’s value.

Furthermore, there have been claims that commercial partners are feeling the heat too, with reports that advertisers have seen their numbers plummet.

The company has until this point, however, doggedly insisted that there is no going back.

“One of the complaints we got was, ‘wow I used to feel like this celebrity was my friend and now they don’t feel like my friend anymore’. And we’re like: ‘Exactly. They’re not your friend,’” Snap co-founder and chief executive Evan Spiegal previously said.

“So for us, even some of the frustrations we’re seeing really validate those changes. And it’ll take time for people to adjust.”

However, today’s language - “we’re always listening to our community and will continue to test updates” - is a far cry from the previous resolute tones.