Snapchat update: What just happened?

Chris Burns - Nov 29, 2017
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Snapchat update: What just happened?

Today Snap updated Snapchat in a major way, fully packed with an experience “organized around your relationships and personalized just for you!” There’s now a split between friends and everyone/everything else. On the left you’ll see Stories and Chats with Friends. On the right you’ll see “Stories from publishers, creators, and the community are on the right.”

This is a pretty major update, to say the least. This is more of an injection of change into the social construct of social media – if what we’re seeing means what I think it means. The main bit of the app stays the same, from the start – you still see the camera first and foremost.

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After that, it’s different. On the right of the camera is the Discover page with Stories ONLY from publishers, creators, and “the community.” You can still see stuff here that brands you like share, and friends you still consider creators – not close friends, like you see on the left.

On the Left is the Friends page. This is a Friends page that’s more “dynamic” than before. This system “displays your friends based on the way you communicate with them.” In other words, Snapchat is basing your experience off your movements in the app. Snapchat is watching what you’re doing with the app, and reacting intelligently.

“Now your Friends will be listed in the order that you want to talk to them.” That’s what the Snap crew said about this new Snapchat. Take that for what you will, but any sort of automatic organization based on my activities has me suspicious. How much is Snapchat watching, and where does that information go?

The Discover page works with similar personalization, with your subscriptions up on the top. “Over time, Discover will become uniquely personalized for you,” said a Snap representative. The good news is, humans will be helping.

“While the Stories on Discover are personalized algorithmically, our curators review and approve everything that gets promoted on the page,” said a Snap representative. “We believe that this balance of human review and machine personalization provides the best content experience on mobile.”

This update is out today for iOS and Android. For the iOS version, head to the iTunes app store and look up Snapchat. For the Android version, go to the Google Play app store and look up Snapchat. Both apps are updated now – but they may take a few minutes to populate your app store with an update as such.


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