Snapchat’s redesign: 3 reasons why middle schoolers hate it

Snapchat’s redesign: 3 reasons why middle schoolers hate it
[Photo: Tim Savage/Pexels]

Over the last few months, Snap has faced widespread online complaints about the redesign of its Snapchat app. Now analyst firm MoffettNathanson has made it official: Most people hate the new Snapchat–even the young’uns.

The firm held focus groups consisting of middle school students, high school students, and young college graduates. Among the groups, only middle school-aged kids seemed attached to Snapchat. (The others preferred Instagram and Apple Messenger.) And even this youngest demographic that was partial to Snapchat had serious problems with the new interface.

Here are some of the biggest complaints middle schoolers had, per a MoffettNathanson report published today:

  • The redesign changed the order of contacts. Before, users’ contacts were listed by the users they most recently chatted with. Snap changed this, making it easier for users to mistakenly message the wrong user.
  • The new redesign made it “easy to accidentally message something that was meant to be shared privately.” These young users seem to prefer the easy-to-use more private-focused interface of the old app.
  • The updated Stories feature is all out of whack, say the young folks. For one, it’s hard to find friends’ private Stories. Two, users get annoying notifications about Story updates they don’t care about. And three, they find themselves subscribed to random Stories.

In sum, the middle school group used to like how Snap made it easy to connect privately with their friends, and the update has made this more difficult.

The company’s stock fell pretty dramatically this morning after this research note went live. Snap is currently down 7% from its opening price of $15.67.

Snap seems to be tweaking its redesign as time goes on, so maybe it will listen to these critiques and make the app more amenable to this younger generation. (MoffettNathanson says it will check in with the group about some changes that went live after it held the focus groups.) But, then again, Snap will also have to become popular with older groups again, too. So there’s a lot of work ahead.