Snapchat updates design with increased focus on friends

Snapchat redesign

Other changes include vertical scrolling for news, easier access to Snap Map, and a reintroduction of the auto-advance feature that lets users watch stories in succession. Publishers could begin following back their user bases en masse, but unless they start interacting with millions of accounts, they might show up lower in the feed than they would on the Discover page.

The overhaul will be rolled out to a small percentage of users this week, before becoming more widely available "in the coming weeks". Snap CEO Spiegel has written an op-ed for Axios decrying the damage social media has done in propagating fake news and to our ability for self-expression. The most drastic change to the design of Snapchat is where users will find their friends and where they'll find the media, or the "discover" content.

SNAPCHAT has completely redesigned its app today in a bid to attract new users by making it more appealing and less hard to use. Advertisers can buy ads inside media companies' channels, going through the publishers or Snapchat to place the order.

The changes to the app were announced in a blog post on the Snap Inc. website and were accompanied by a video featuring Spiegel in which he explained how the redesigned app will separate the "social" and the "media".

What Spiegel means is that the Discover section of the app, which shows channels run by media companies like BuzzFeed, NBCUniversal, Hearst, 21st Century Fox, Tastemade, will appear on one side of the app to the right of the camera.

The move comes at a time when Snap is under mounting pressure to grow its stagnant user base.

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Snapchat has mostly flown under the radar as its bigger social-media peers have taken a drubbing in Washington. To that end, the updated app will still open directly to the camera interface.

"Social media fueled "fake news" because content created to be shared by friends is not necessarily content created to deliver accurate information", Spiegel wrote.

The Snapchat app has always been a horrendous lag-fest on Android.

"While blurring the lines between professional content creators and your friends has been an interesting Internet experiment, it has also produced some unusual side-effects (like fake news) and made us feel like we have to perform for our friends rather than just express ourselves", Snapchat wrote in a blog post. Swiping right from the camera shows your friend's Stories, as well as a variety of sponsored "articles". "We think this helps guard against fake news and mindless scrambles for friends or unworthy distractions". So for users, this is a welcome separation of personal and professional content. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, which found their platforms manipulated during the 2016 election, Snapchat isn't really a social network: the ephemeral photo- and video-messaging service isn't set up to allow information to go viral.

First, Shapiro says, Snap told the agency that some advertising will still exist between friend snaps.

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