It’s no secret that Snapchat’s February redesign was poorly received by users. In fact, it was met with so much backlash that an Australian teenager amassed over a million signatures on an online petition to revert the app back to how it looked before. A little over two months after the update, the stir amongst users seems to have simmered down, but publishers on the platform are suffering.
Snap Inc. partners with publications, TV channels, and brands to feature them on Snapchat’s Discover page. Previously, this was incorporated into the same menu as users’ friends, but the company decided to separate content from branded and publisher content into its own section. Madison Malone Kircher, an associate editor at New York Magazine, tells Cheddar’s Morning Bell that this move has caused publishers’ engagement numbers to plummet.
“I spoke to people it’s become hard to motive people on these Discover teams because [they] get the numbers back and [they] spent hours on this animation that nobody is looking at it,” says Kircher.
This not only had to do with Snapchat’s new complicated series of menus, but Kircher said she believes the way these discover Stories are played on the app has become a bit of a nuisance to users. Before the redesign, users were brought back to the Discover menu when they were done viewing a Story. Now, Snapchat auto-plays another Story.
The app uses artificial intelligence to try and figure out what each user would like to see next, but algorithms like these are known to miss the mark as they’re getting to know what should play next. This has resulted in a high percentage of viewers navigating away from certain Stories site after viewing only one panel.
“That I think irritates users and I have publishers telling me they have high bounce rates as a result because people are seeing things they don’t want to see,” explains Kircher.
While the app’s developers have attempted to make its menus a little less convoluted, Snap doesn’t seem to be budging on the A.I. used in the Discover page.