Last Tuesday, the Snapchat messaging application was updated and we were able to discover a brand new interface. Indeed, Evan Spiegel, the boss of the company and the one responsible for developing the application, had announced a general simplification of the latter and the separation of social media content. Yet, many users are lost and want Snapchat to return to the old interface.
Since it has generalized its latest update, significantly modifying its interface, the application is the subject of many criticisms and is experiencing some difficult days. If they initially came only from « lambda » users, they are now also formulated by celebrities or major brands, and have financial consequences on the company.
On Wednesday, Feb. 21, reality star Kylie Jenner, one of Snapchat’s most popular users, posted an embarrassing tweet about Snapchat:
Sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad.
The following day, overwhelmed by many critics, the company lost 7% in the stock market. The next day, the share price of Snap which is the parent company of Snapchat fell on the stock market by 7% in only one day. According to several comments, the two events were obviously related. But was a single tweet enough to ruin Snapchat’s $ 1.3 billion worth of value?
The reality is in fact a little more nuanced. It has been a few days since the value of the Snap share which had risen in early February to the announcement of good results is down, and this is due to a number of reasons. This famous update which triggered a sling of the Net surfers is to begin with. Announced in November, widespread in February, the update aims to solve a problem encountered by the application: the slowdown in the increase in the number of new users. The company felt that its interface -sometimes difficult to handle for novices- had to undergo a redesign and become more accessible.
The disapproval of Internet users was expressed by many messages on social networks, but also through a petition signed by more than 1.2 million people demanding the return of the old version of Snapchat.
In addition to Kylie Jenner, several personalities have expressed their reservations, like Manny Mua, a YouTuber specialized in makeup (4 million subscribers), beauty YouTuber Jaclyn Hill (4.9 million fans on YouTube), the reality TV star Nicole Polizzi (6.9 million subscribers on Twitter), and the singer of the Blink-182 group. Others have suggested that they could abandon the application to migrate to other social networks like Instagram which also offers stories almost identical to those popularized by Snapchat since August 2016. DJ and producer DJ Khaled, an influential personality on Snapchat, suggested it earlier this month.
In fact, DJ Khaled is not the only one. In a survey posted online on Thursday, and since removed, the cosmetics brand Maybelline asked its Twitter subscribers whether it should stay on Snapchat given that the number of views recorded on its stories had « dramatically dropped. » Nearly 7,000 people voted and 80% of them chose the option « no, I like IG stories ».
On Tuesday, the Snap company released a statement in which it assured its users that it is not going to go back to the old version – although some changes on the « new page dedicated to friends » are expected in the future.
In spite of all the backlash that Snapchat is facing, the application in the United States
is tracking all campaigns in Instagram Stories and contacting advertisers one by one to offer them Ad-Credits, a graceful inventory that allows them to test the platform.
Behind this commercial act, a strategy to increase the number of advertisers on the platform is revealed; this also means increasing competition on auctions which is the main purchasing method on the social network. Who says more advertisers, says a harder fight to win the inventory and an overall rise in prices.
After all, Snapchat is still very popular. According to a Médiamétrie study published on Thursday, French people aged 15 to 24 spend more time on Snapchat than on Facebook which is the world’s leading social network. Friday, the day after the significant decline of 7%, the share price of Snapchat began to slowly rise.