Snapchat Removed Best Friends Feature; Teens Freak Out

One app that is popular with teens makes a surprising move that angered a lot of users

Snapchat recently made a huge mistake, to the dismay of its largest user base. On Tuesday, the social photo sharing app removed the popular “Best Friends” feature to make room for Discover, a content generating feature that makes it more like Facebook. The problem with that is the app’s core user base is more interested in their social circles than political commentary from CNN or Yahoo News.

The appeal behind Snapchat

Snapchat is a popular app that lets young people communicate via quick photos that disappear within a minute of them being received. The real reason behind its immense popularity is that it gives teens a place to connect with friends. It’s not Facebook, where their parents can easily follow or keep tabs on them.

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The “Best Friends” feature in Snapchat is an important part of the user experience. This feature allows users to view who their friends are chatting with the most. So it was no surprise that teens took to another popular social media app–Twitter–to complain about the change.

A look at the app’s roots

The popular app originally started out as completely social and required at least one user to have the other’s phone number saved. It would also require sending a request before sharing snaps. The Our Stories feature was later brought in to see how users engage with content from non-friends  It serves as a collaborative timeline enabling users to share snaps from an aggregated stream of content from a given event or show.

Snapchat’s new Discover page includes content from a variety of media partners, including the Daily Mail, People, CNN, Vice, National Geographic, Cosmopolitan, Comedy Central, National Geographic, ESPN, and Yahoo News. The addition is a good move for content creators that focus on delivering content to create power usage for the company. If Snapchat wants to make money, it will have to rely more on brands for ad conversion.