Snapchat response to user revolt over iPhone app redesign advises of new features, no roll...

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in iOS
Snapchat has responded to calls from users demanding a rollback of an update to the image sharing app, though while the firm acknowledges the high number of complaints, it advises it will not be reversing its design changes, but instead will make it easier for people to use.




The petition on Change.org, signed by over 1.2 million people and created by Nic Rumsey, claims changes made to the Snapchat app made it harder to use, with many "new features" declared to be "useless or defeats the original purposes Snapchat has had for the past years." Citing users attempting to use an earlier version of the app by various means, Reuters reports the petition urges Snap Inc to "change the app back to the basics, before the new 2018 update."

The backlash follows after Snapchat started to roll out its new design in November last year, with the main complaint being the combination of Stories and Friends into the same page, making it harder to to use both of the features. At the same time, the Discover section, used to highlight content from publishers and other online figures, was separated off into its own area.

In its response to the petition, Team Snapchat wrote on Tuesday "We hear you, and appreciate that you took the time to let us know how you feel. We completely understand the new Snapchat has felt uncomfortable for many."

While the response starts with an apologetic tone, the text that follows reveals Snap Inc is not going to roll back the app to a previous version at all. Instead, it will continue with its existing design but with smaller changes it hopes will alleviate user concerns.

Snapchat aimed for the update to make it easier for people to connect with those they care about most, with the Friends page claimed to adapt over time to best suit how the app is being used at that particular moment. A similar personalization of content is also applied to the Discover section.

New tabs will be added to the Friends and Discover pages that will help users sort content by type, rather than rely on the app's personalization efforts alone. The tabs will let users select Stories group chats, and Subscriptions, showing just those types of content and temporarily hiding the others from view.

Snap Inc plans to start pushing the tab-based update to users "soon" on iOS, as well as to Android users in the coming weeks.

The response ends by thanking users for their "enthusiasm and creativity," and a pledge to listen closely to users to "find new ways to make the service better for everyone."

Reactions to the company's response are somewhat negative with many users writing to complain that they wanted the company to revert back to the older version instead of adding new features. Some comments also insinuate this to be a tone-deaf corporate response, noting the hypocrisy of claiming to listen to users, then seemingly not doing what they demand.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    I just don’t understand why companies like snapchat, Instagram and Facebook somehow manage to make the app worse with each big update, this Snapchat one is easily the worst, was hoping they’d admit they got it wrong and went back to the old format.
    peterhartmagman1979watto_cobrarepressthislolliver
  • Reply 2 of 34
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,371member
    The complaints I heard from people in my family who use it said the change just happen, they did not install a new version, it was like going to a website, one day it looks one way and the next day it is completely different. Everyone did not see the change immediately. It happen over a week time frame. One day one person saw the new interface and then a few days later another person's update.

    This is the problem with today's software, you no longer control what you use, the app developer can make decision on your part whether you like it or not. I personally held off on updating some software because I did not like the changes. In this case no one had a choose they were able to update the GUI without your knowledge or input.

    I suspect most people will just keep using it even though they do not like it since they are so addicted to using these programs. This why their complaints are falling on death ears, they even went so far to say too bad they are not changing back.

    Face it Snap needs to get the stock price up and get revenue coming in, so they need to market their product which is the users to those who pay them.
    edited February 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 34
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,673member
    maestro64 said:
    The complaints I heard from people in my family who use it said the change just happen, they did not install a new version, it was like going to a website, one day it looks one way and the next day it is completely different. Everyone did not see the change immediately. It happen over a week time frame. One day one person saw the new interface and then a few days later another person's update.

    This is the problem with today's software, you no longer control what you use, the app developer can make decision on your part whether you like it or not. I personally held off on updating some software because I did not like the changes. In this case no one had a choose they were able to update the GUI without your knowledge or input.

    I suspect most people will just keep using it even though they do not like it since they are so addicted to using these programs. This why their complaints are falling on death ears, they even went so far to say too bad they are not changing back.

    Face it Snap needs to get the stock price up and get revenue coming in, so they need to market their product which is the users to those who pay them.
    If its the iOS app they use and have automatic updates enabled then SnapChat would have updated automatically for them without them even knowing thus, to them it just all of a sudden changed. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 34
    I've never used Snapchat, so I suppose it's possible that 1.2 million people are correct that this was a terrible. awful change.  On the other hand, I expect that in a few months most users will realize that they now "get it" and wouldn't want to go back.  We're just creatures of habit and scream to high heaven when someone moves our proverbial cheese.
    magman1979georgie01watto_cobrachasm
  • Reply 5 of 34
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,097member
    It’s like the horrible changes to Skype, I just stopped using it.
    peterhartmagman1979SendMcjakirelanddigital_guyjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 34
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,371member
    macxpress said:
    maestro64 said:
    The complaints I heard from people in my family who use it said the change just happen, they did not install a new version, it was like going to a website, one day it looks one way and the next day it is completely different. Everyone did not see the change immediately. It happen over a week time frame. One day one person saw the new interface and then a few days later another person's update.

    This is the problem with today's software, you no longer control what you use, the app developer can make decision on your part whether you like it or not. I personally held off on updating some software because I did not like the changes. In this case no one had a choose they were able to update the GUI without your knowledge or input.

    I suspect most people will just keep using it even though they do not like it since they are so addicted to using these programs. This why their complaints are falling on death ears, they even went so far to say too bad they are not changing back.

    Face it Snap needs to get the stock price up and get revenue coming in, so they need to market their product which is the users to those who pay them.
    If its the iOS app they use and have automatic updates enabled then SnapChat would have updated automatically for them without them even knowing thus, to them it just all of a sudden changed. 

    I know the wife's phone does not, since the App stores shows she has lots of updates, she learned from me do not update unless you have too or you know what the update does for you. She has updated in the past and found she did not like the change or it caused her an issue. Before we update to the next major release of iOS we always go to the Apple store and play with it to make sure we like the changes before updating. However. more and more this control is being taken from your, not sure why people use the auto update feature, can imaging one date going into an app to find out the change the GUI on you without any idea it was coming.
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 7 of 34
    thrangthrang Posts: 751member
    mavemufc said:
    I just don’t understand why companies like snapchat, Instagram and Facebook somehow manage to make the app worse with each big update, this Snapchat one is easily the worst, was hoping they’d admit they got it wrong and went back to the old format.
    Sonos is another one...their original "blue" app was much easier to use than the "white/flat" design.
    irelandcjcoopswatto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 8 of 34
    maestro64 said:
    The complaints I heard from people in my family who use it said the change just happen, they did not install a new version, it was like going to a website, one day it looks one way and the next day it is completely different. Everyone did not see the change immediately. It happen over a week time frame. One day one person saw the new interface and then a few days later another person's update.

    This is the problem with today's software, you no longer control what you use, the app developer can make decision on your part whether you like it or not. I personally held off on updating some software because I did not like the changes. In this case no one had a choose they were able to update the GUI without your knowledge or input.

    Software design has always been at the whim of the developer. Remember the MS office Ribbon interface debacle, for example. 
    I can see how people would be infuriated with a GUI change that they didn’t update software to get. It sounds very much like a web based software. 
    I agree with you, I like having the choice to update. 
    The only thing you can do is look before you leap. And keep backups. 
    edited February 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 34
    I had snapchat for over a year and I cannot stand it. It has horrible UX and there is nothing consistent nor intuitive about it. I deleted it and I announced it on Facebook to let them know that I am not going to use Snapchat with anyone.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 34
    I have a fraction of Snapchat's user base, but I had a similar experience with one of my apps a couple years ago. I rolled out a major update (numbered as version 4.0) along with detailed release notes, announcements, video demos, etc. but the main response from users was "give me the old version back." That's not a productive request because a major app redesign is likely a part of a significant back-end upgrade and/or a significant strategic shift. It might look to a user like something that was updated in a few minutes could be rolled back in a few minutes, but the developer has months or years of work and planning invested and they're not going to simply delete that. It's better to do as Snapchat is doing and keep improving on the new design.

    I've always advised my users to turn off app auto-updating, then read the release notes before installing updates. I got lots of emails from users saying, "Why did you update my app without my permission," but it really is up to users to manage their updates. Apple stands in opposition to this advice by pushing app auto-updates (IIRC, an iOS update some time before this release had turned that on for everyone by default) and nagging people endlessly about OS updates. This policy comes from Apple's reality-distorted world where every software update is completely and obviously superior to the one that preceded it.

    Anyway, eventually most of my users came around and admitted that the updates were worth it and the app is now better for it.
    edited February 2018 randominternetpersonMacsplosionrepressthischasm
  • Reply 11 of 34
    mavemufc said:
    I just don’t understand why companies like snapchat, Instagram and Facebook somehow manage to make the app worse with each big update, this Snapchat one is easily the worst, was hoping they’d admit they got it wrong and went back to the old format.
    Innovation: Moving stuff around so it's different, not better.  
    irelandlolliver
  • Reply 12 of 34
    I've never used Snapchat, so I suppose it's possible that 1.2 million people are correct that this was a terrible. awful change.  On the other hand, I expect that in a few months most users will realize that they now "get it" and wouldn't want to go back.  We're just creatures of habit and scream to high heaven when someone moves our proverbial cheese.
    Mmmm. Proverbial cheese..... From the proverbial province?
    ireland
  • Reply 13 of 34
    The UI before the change was pretty bad and unintuitive, now it's even worse. Previously I'd only discovered the news stories by accident (swiping left on the photo/snap page). Now they're on their own tab which was originally friend stories. This detracts from it being an app for friends to being another algorithmically created video "news" app. It just feels like your friend group has been invaded by strangers. One of the many bad UI design changes they made is tapping an icon next to someone's name in the friends list now does something different to tapping their name. It's really poor.
    lolliver
  • Reply 14 of 34
    Why is that most companies don't really care what the feedback is and will push their 'new' design down your throat whether you like it or not?
    you make the app to appeal to me
    the money you make comes from me
    the share price that goes up comes from me as a user
    its like the CEO is too proud to admit he messed up and if he ignores the feedback be thinks he won



  • Reply 15 of 34
    netrox said:
    I had snapchat for over a year and I cannot stand it. It has horrible UX and there is nothing consistent nor intuitive about it. I deleted it and I announced it on Facebook to let them know that I am not going to use Snapchat with anyone.
    How do you put a dog face overlay on your photos now?!?

    It’s funny they started an online petition. If people are so upset about the changes, just stop using the app.  It’s not that difficult. (I know, FOMO)
    jbdragonwatto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 16 of 34
    thrang said:
    mavemufc said:
    I just don’t understand why companies like snapchat, Instagram and Facebook somehow manage to make the app worse with each big update, this Snapchat one is easily the worst, was hoping they’d admit they got it wrong and went back to the old format.
    Sonos is another one...their original "blue" app was much easier to use than the "white/flat" design.
    But...why would anyone need to initiate playback from the app now that voice interfaces are so awesome and mandatory? /s
    watto_cobraSpamSandwich
  • Reply 17 of 34

    arlomedia said:
    I have a fraction of Snapchat's user base, but I had a similar experience with one of my apps a couple years ago. I rolled out a major update (numbered as version 4.0) along with detailed release notes, announcements, video demos, etc. but the main response from users was "give me the old version back." That's not a productive request because a major app redesign is likely a part of a significant back-end upgrade and/or a significant strategic shift. It might look to a user like something that was updated in a few minutes could be rolled back in a few minutes, but the developer has months or years of work and planning invested and they're not going to simply delete that. It's better to do as Snapchat is doing and keep improving on the new design.

    I've always advised my users to turn off app auto-updating, then read the release notes before installing updates. I got lots of emails from users saying, "Why did you update my app without my permission," but it really is up to users to manage their updates. Apple stands in opposition to this advice by pushing app auto-updates (IIRC, an iOS update some time before this release had turned that on for everyone by default) and nagging people endlessly about OS updates. This policy comes from Apple's reality-distorted world where every software update is completely and obviously superior to the one that preceded it.

    Anyway, eventually most of my users came around and admitted that the updates were worth it and the app is now better for it.
    I distinctly remember people complaining when iOS didn’t auto-update, and they always had to visit the red number badge tagged onto the App Store app. one celebrity asked Cook why he always had to do this. it was meta work. no thanks. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 34
    I've never used Snapchat, so I suppose it's possible that 1.2 million people are correct that this was a terrible. awful change.  On the other hand, I expect that in a few months most users will realize that they now "get it" and wouldn't want to go back.  We're just creatures of habit and scream to high heaven when someone moves our proverbial cheese.

    You're right that people will adapt, but only because they are being forced to.

    Apple is guilty of making changes "for change sake". The macOS user interface used to have a much better "feel" to it. Menus just felt better to use. Windows had a more consistent appearance. Visual glitches in the UI did not exist. Things felt solid. Then they begin making changes and ignored user feedback. Apple of old days used to invest into perfecting what they had, but now they just focus on the next "great feature", allowing what's in place to wither on the vine. It's really sad. I wish I didn't feel that way, but it's gone on for too many years now, time and again.
  • Reply 19 of 34
    SendMcjakSendMcjak Posts: 66unconfirmed, member
    saarek said:
    It’s like the horrible changes to Skype, I just stopped using it.
    Exactly.  My use of Snapchat has plummeted after this update.  Good work, product management team!
    watto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 20 of 34
    I distinctly remember people complaining when iOS didn’t auto-update, and they always had to visit the red number badge tagged onto the App Store app. one celebrity asked Cook why he always had to do this. it was meta work. no thanks. 
    I sent feedback to Apple at one point about allowing developers to opt out of auto-updating, or opt out for major releases, or something like that. My app is mission-critical for its users, so they really should be controlling its updates and not installing them an hour before a performance or something. Even if the app itself is perfect, sometimes app store downloads get stuck and require a restart or reinstall. In any case, users can't have it both ways: if they want to use auto-updating, they shouldn't become infuriated when their apps auto-update. If what they actually want is for apps to never change, then they should definitely turn off auto-updating!

    Personally, I still prefer manual updates. Browsing through the list of available updates and glancing at the release notes is a good way to learn about new features in the apps I like, and then it only takes a moment to click Update All.
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