In difficulty with Instagram, Snapchat unveils its new interface to reinvent itself
After a disappointing third quarter, Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, had promised to reinvent himself. Promise kept with the announcement of the first redesign of the interface of the ephemeral messaging application. Recognizing that Snapchat’s interface is too difficult for the general public to understand, Snap hopes this app overhaul will make it easier to access. The shift is risky for American society, but essential to envision a sustainable future.
To reinvent its application, Snap has bet on a clearer distribution of content. In this sense, the Californian company has decided to separate the social from the media. In order not to destabilize its most loyal users, the application will always remain focused on the camera. From this screen, the user will have to swipe to the left to access the “social” part, which will group together the messages and stories of the user’s friends, and to the right to view the “media” part, which will centralize the content created by newspapers and dedicated to the community, such as “Discover”, the audiovisual kiosk for the media, the “Snap Map”, which allows contacts to be geolocated on a map to always know where they are, or even collective stories, on the occasion of events (concerts, sports competitions, festivals, etc.).
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Whether for the social or community aspect, Snap will use new algorithms to offer a more personalized experience to each user. Thus, the American firm explains that it will use a “algorithm specializing in friendshipsSo the user can find the person they want to chat with more quickly. To do this, the algorithm will feed on user interactions to display the right contacts at the right time. At the same time, Snap will use another algorithm so that the stories in the “Discover” section are personalized according to the user’s personal preferences. The American company specifies, however, that all content that will be presented on the page will be verified by employees of Snap. “We are convinced that it is this balance between human control and automatic suggestion that allows us to offer users the best content experience on mobile.», Explains the company headed by Evan Spiegel.
In a column published on Axios, the CEO of Snap says that the mix between social and media is a widely proven model, hence the urgency to radically change the interface of Snapchat. “The combination of social and media has resulted in incredible financial results, but has undermined our relationships with our friends and the media», He explains. And to add: “With Snapchat’s design overhaul, we’re going to separate the social from the media and take an important step towards strengthening relationships between you and your friends, and between the media and you. This will give publishers a better way to distribute and monetize their Stories, and a more personal way for friends to communicate and find the content they want to access.“From now on, Snapchat considers itself closer to Netflix than to Facebook, insofar as its messaging, like the streaming service, is based on machine learning algorithms that feed on user behavior to offer them recommendations, instead of relying on the behavior of their friends.
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With the overhaul of Snapchat, Evan Spiegel is hoping that 2018 will be the year of recovery, not the year of debacle. It must be said that there has been a fire in the Snap house for many months. In the third quarter, Snap posted revenue of $ 207.9 million, up 62% from 2016, when investors expected $ 236.9 million. Worse yet, the company saw its net loss more than triple to $ 443 million. Since its launch, Snap has never achieved profitability. What’s more, the company’s spending exploded within a year, from $ 260 million to $ 670 million.
Beyond the disappointing financial results, Snap is struggling to attract new users to its mobile application. Between July and September, Snapchat only gained 4.5 million users, reaching 178 million followers. Opposite, its rival Instagram, owned by Facebook, has more than 500 million monthly users, including 300 million who use the application on a daily basis. Instagram notably took over the concept of Snapchat stories, which allows you to share photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. It may not be very loyal to Snapchat, but Mark Zuckerberg’s strategy is proving to be the most effective for the moment.