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Here’s the big Snapchat redesign that Evan Spiegel promised will make it easier to use

  • The redesigned app will separate the news-heavy Discover page from a user's friend list.
  • Snapchat has long been plagued by criticism that the app is difficult to navigate and not intuitive
  • The update will start rolling out to a "small percentage" of users this week.
Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel smiles before ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange as his company celebrates its IPO, Thursday, March 2, 2017.
Mark Lennihan | AP
Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel smiles before ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange as his company celebrates its IPO, Thursday, March 2, 2017.

Snapchat's newly redesigned app is separating the social from the media, creating two distinct content pages, the company said Wednesday.

The redesigned app will separate the news-heavy Discover page from a user's friend list. On the current version of the app the two are intermingled on a single screen.

CEO Evan Spiegel teased the redesign earlier this month on a Snap earnings call, saying the update would make the app easier to use for older generations and drawing inspiration from Facebook and Twitter's scrolling news feeds.

On the redesigned app, users will swipe to the left of the main camera screen to see chats, stories and messages from their friends, and swipe to the right for news, Snap Map and publisher content. The new Discover page reorganizes news from a horizontal scroll to a vertical, in the vein of Facebook's and Twitter's seemingly endless feeds.

"While blurring the lines between professional content creators and your friends has been an interesting Internet experiment, it has also produced some strange side-effects (like fake news) and made us feel like we have to perform for our friends rather than just express ourselves," the company said in a statement.

The company has also beefed up some of the more popular features like the Snap Map, which will now be easier to access through search, and a user's Best Friends list.

"We've all had the frustrating experience of scrolling endlessly through our Chats to find the right person — now your Friends will be listed in the order that you want to talk to them," Snap said.

Snap has long been plagued by criticism that the app is difficult to navigate and not intuitive, dragging daily active users below estimates and burying paid publisher content.

The update will start rolling out to a "small percentage" of users this week, Snap said, and will be more widely available in the next several weeks.

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Snap.