Asked about concerns over future revenue growth during the Ignition Conference, Bell said distinguishing between content from friends and creators on the new Snapchat app would help the social media platform foster "a new breed of creator" for Snapchat.
While Snapchat does have valuable news from well-established media companies, including coverage of worldwide conflicts, refugees, live coverage from natural disasters and more, it also features clickbait headlines under the Discover tab that are the very opposite of hard-hitting journalism. Snap touted the move as a philosophical departure from rival Facebook Inc.
In particular, the company is splitting up the app experience to separate the social aspect of Snapchat (your friends) and the media aspects (your interests and content). "While blurring the lines between professional content creators and your friends has been an interesting internet experiment, it has also produced some unusual side-effects (like fake news) and made us feel like we have to perform for our friends rather than just express ourselves". It will also include recommended content for the user. "Over time, Discover will become uniquely personalized for you", said a Snap representative. Los Angeles-based Snap's shares had dropped 20 percent since its March initial public offering to $13.61 at the close Tuesday.
For something that was presented to me as the "new Snapchat", its alterations are surprisingly simple ones. With the redesign swiping the camera to the left to access what is to the right of the screen will open Discover.
The redesigned Snapchat will keep friends and social content separate. "Your Friends will be listed in the order that you want to talk to them", the company wrote on its blog.
Each feed will be ranked based on the user's viewing habits and the media brands to which they've subscribed.
Snap says that the update will roll out to a "small percentage" of users this week, with a wider release scheduled for the coming weeks. For example, the company now has a "best friends" algorithm that puts the people you engage with the most to the top.
The new redesign may scare off publishers who are used to having their content mixed with the stories of friends, which most likely generated more views as a result. That update could provide a better browsing experience for users while also improving the quality of content that gets promoted. For the Android version, go to the Google Play app store and look up Snapchat.
Known for its messages that disappear seconds after they are read, Snapchat is wildly popular among millennials, but faces stiff competition from Facebook and Instagram. Spiegel also penned a rare opinion piece for the website Axios published earlier today that outlined how Snapchat is trying to push away from the label of "social media" and also aggressively criticized its competitors in the space for helping fuel the rise of fake news.