The recent Snapchat overhaul was controversial, to say the least. With a massive overhaul that that many felt seemed to focus more on advertisement optimization than the user experience, users were extremely unhappy with a change to their feed that they never asked for. The change was intended to assist the company in making it more easy to understand for new audiences as the company struggles to find its footing as a public company, but they ended up angering the huge user base in the process. While many aspects of the app overhaul are remaining the same, Techcrunch reports that Snapchat has recently had a change of heart, it seems, with the re-introduction of chronological Snapchat stories – restoring some of the original functionality users loved due to the major backlash.
As social networks start to grow in scope, they begin to take features from other sites that have seen great success. Facebook and Instagram were heavily inspired by Snapchat when it came to the stories feature, and it seems as if Snapchat is taking note of the success of Facebook and Instagram by introducing an algorithm-based feed that shows you what they think you want to see. For many frustrated with the direction of Facebook and Instagram and how much they seem to want to know about what you want to see – especially after the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal – this new avenue that Snapchat was pursuing was an unwelcome change. It seems as if Snapchat has realized that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to the social network experience, and have reverted their decision to use that feature with the re-introduction of chronological Snapchat stories.
It’s important to note that only select users are seeing their feeds reverted, but considering what a large change it is to go back to chronological Snapchat stories from the newly redesigned feature, it’s likely that the company wants to test the waters before backtracking completely. It’s safe to say that more and more users should see their chronological Snapchat stories restored as time goes on, however, as it was clear from the backlash to the changes that what works for Facebook and Instagram might not necessarily work for this newer type of photo sharing service.
While the re-introduction of chronological Snapchat stories is a welcome change for many, it’s a double-edged sword, and there are advantages to both methods of sorting a feed. While chronological Snapchat stories are advantageous for those who are looking to see action right as it happens, it is also heavily slanted to favor those who use the platform heavily – with huge amounts of stories flooding out posts from your favorite friends and family who only use the app occasionally. On the other hand, trusting an app – no matter how intelligent – to decide who and what you’d like to see content from isn’t great either, as there’s no perfect formula that gives you the best results each and every time.
It remains to be seen whether the introduction of this beloved feature is here to stay or whether the network is giving it a test run, but it’s clear that the company angered a lot of their user base by trending more towards the rest of social networking. Whether the influx of new users will make up for the exodus is currently anyone’s guess.