Snapchat due for complete redesign after years of complaints it is difficult to use

Snapchat due for complete redesign after years of complaints it is difficult to use

The app has been losing money and not attracting as many users as analysts expected


It's back to the drawing board for the disappearing-message app.
Photo: Reuters

Snapcaht is getting a new design, going back to the drawing board as because its shares have been losing money as it struggles to compete with Instagram. 

User growth in the last three months was well below what analysts expected. Daily active users rose to 178 million in the third quarter from 173 million in the second quarter. Analysts had expected 181.8 million, according to research firm FactSet.

Chief Executive Evan Spiegel said the company was launching the redesign after hearing for years that Snapchat was difficult to understand or hard to use.

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“We are going to make it easier to discover the vast quantity of content on our platform that goes undiscovered or unseen every day,” Spiegel told analysts on a conference call.

The 27-year-old CEO said there was a “strong likelihood” the redesign would be disruptive in the short term, but said Snap was willing to take the risk for long-term gain.

Such a radical change so soon after an IPO is unusual.

Snap is not the only social media company looking to revive growth by changing its look. Twitter said on Tuesday it would roll out 280-character tweets to users across the world, double the length of its iconic 140-character tweets.

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Asked on the analyst call what Snapchat’s redesign would look like, Spiegel said the company had been studying the evolution of mobile content feeds such as Twitter streams and the Facebook News Feed and saw room for a “personalised content service”.

Spiegel said the company next year would also build more tools for people to share with broad audiences beyond their friends, the type of public broadcasting common on Instagram and Twitter.


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