November 29, 2017
By putting best friends first and dividing them from professional publishers, Snapchat hopes to conquer Instagram and revive its own growth with a big redesign that begins rolling out Friday. And it looks great. Snapchat is finally personalizing, highlighting the most relevant content so it’s easier to consume.
“We are separating the social from the media, and taking an important step forward towards strengthening our relationships with our friends and our relationships with the media” Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel wrote in an Axios op-ed this morning. Rather than sorting content by how popular it is with everyone else like Facebook or by reverse chronological order like Snapchat used to, Snap will mold itself to what each person watches most, like Netflix.
Even if Snapchat struggles to add more users amidst Facebook’s competition, its new algorithms could get loyalists spending even more time and seeing more ads in the app. A small percentage of users worldwide on iOS and Android will start getting the new Snapchat on Friday, earlier than expected, and it should be rolled out to everyone within a few weeks.
So what exactly is the redesign? It puts all messages and Stories from friends to the left of the camera, sorted by who you talk to and view most. It revives auto-advance, so you can watch everyone’s Stories in a row, but with best friends not people who post the most first. And it puts all premium publishers, pro social media stars you follow, and aggregated stories from search and Snap Map in the Discover section to the right of the camera, curated by humans, and sorted by your past viewing behavior.
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