When Snapchat released its redesign last year, the messaging app was criticized as alienating its core user group. The redesign slowed user growth and reduced engagement with publishers. According to a YouGov study, consumer sentiment toward brands dropped 73% in the 18-34 year-old demographic after the redesign. Snapchat also faced an uphill battle against Instagram Stories, which offers ephemeral messaging. However, the redesigned app made the experience simpler and easier for both new and experienced users.
Despite the negative feedback from users, Snap still saw an increase in revenue. The new design brought in an estimated $262 million in revenue, up 44 percent year-over-year. The company was able to justify the costs of the redesign because the number of daily active users had decreased by about two percent. Users aged 35 and older continued to use the app, but the number of new users grew by just two percent. Snap isn’t giving up on its beloved messaging app.
The redesign puts more focus on the strengths of the app. It also allows for more content from verified celebrities and content partners to appear in user feeds. This feature is a natural compromise between the two designs. Currently, Snapchat has two types of content on the Discover page – branded content from friends. Snapchat will eventually launch a separate Android app for Android users as well. That means there will be more content to see in the app than ever before.