Tech Guide

Here's why Snapchat users are so upset about its recent redesign

Key Points
  • The new "Friends" page condenses incoming Snapchats and Stories and has no chronological order.
  • The "send" page makes it harder to find friends.
  • Rewatching Stories takes much longer and involves more effort than previous versions.
How to navigate Snapchat's new design
How to navigate Snapchat's new design

Snapchat released its recent redesign to tons of new users this weekend and many are not happy about it.

Nearly 600,000 people have signed a petition asking parent company Snap to revert to the old version, and users are complaining on other social media. A fake tweet purporting to be from Snap said it would change back if it got 50,000 retweets -- it now has over 1.3 million:

Fake tweet:

The new layout debuted in November for a limited audience, but Snap has been rolling it out gradually to more people. It's a drastic departure from previous designs and was supposed to make the app simpler to use. Unfortunately, a lot of people found it to be a confusing mess.

Facebook is losing younger users to Snapchat, according to a study
Facebook is losing younger users to Snapchat, according to a study

Here's why everyone is so upset with the update.

(Pictures are blurred to protect the identities of the writer's Snapchat contacts.)

Stories and incoming Snapchats are on the same page

The new redesign condenses Stories (photos and videos that are visible to your friends and disappear after 24 hours) and incoming Snapchats (real-time conversations with friends) on one "Friends" page.

Incoming Snapchats have priority at the top of the page, but the Stories and conversations look nearly identical and are no longer in chronological order. Instead, Snapchat uses an algorithm to show you Stories from friends it thinks you care about most.

Sending a Snapchat is more confusing

The new layout is too busy and makes it harder to find friends, instead of the simple list format that the app has had for years.

Rewatching Stories is difficult

Previously watched Stories used to be available on the "Stories" page to rewatch until they expired, but they seemingly disappear after one watch now.

In order to rewatch a Story, users have to swipe up and search a specific friend's name to rewatch their Story.

The Discover page has been replaced with featured and sponsored content

You used to be able to swipe left to find Stories. Now the page is full of sponsored content and featured celebrity stories.

This change is part of Snapchat's move to be more advertiser-friendly and bring in more revenue. Instead, it has the opposite effect: it makes the ads easier to avoid -- you can just stay away from that page altogether.

Will Snap listen?

So far, Snap shows no indication that they're going to reverse the changes. In fact, the company has discouraged fans from using workarounds to revert to the old version, warning it could lock them out of their old Memories:


Meanwhile, the company is coming off its strongest quarter yet since going public. It beat Wall Street's revenue, earnings and user growth estimates in Q4, and the stock is up more than 30 percent since it reported earnings last week.