New Snapchat Update Causes Controversy

By Leah Zinsky

Staff Reporter

Earlier in the month, the popular social media app, Snapchat, released a new update that changed the face of the app as a whole.

Snapchat began its rise to popularity in 2011, and it is still being used daily by millions.

However, when a recent new update was automatically installed on users phones, people had many opinions about the new look.

When Snapchat first launched, users loved everything about it. The app was a place for people to instantly connect with friends through photos or videos.

“The new update made the app more complicated and not as enjoyable as it usually is,” said junior Ariana Cavallaro.

The previous version of Snapchat had various characteristics that made it simple and fun to use.

Users can choose how long the sent snap can be viewed by viewers. ‘How long,’ ranges between 1-10 seconds, or infinite. Once the desired time is up, or the user closes out of the conversation, the message or photo expires.

Snapchat also allows users to add facial filters, such as turning yourself into a dog, or including geotags, which share a person’s location onto his or her photos.

On the main screen when the application opened, users were able to go right to the camera and take photos to send and share.

Swipe left, and the user would have a list of friends that he or she has sent a Snapchat to before, including when the Snapchat was last opened.

However, the new update has changed some of these features, specifically by making a person’s “story,” photo, or video on display, harder to viewers to find.

The new update was such a drastic change from its original format, that many users have since threatened to delete the app, and have even posted on other social media platforms, such as Twitter, wondering how to get the original version back on their phones.

According to Snapchat, the update was invented as “something new” to make Snapchat feel even more personal, by introducing the new, “Friends” page.

The new “Friends” page to the left of the camera displays a user’s friends based on the way he or she would communicate with them.

“It’s hard to use. I keep accidentally chatting with people that I don’t ever talk to. I feel like now Snapchat caters to more ads and endorsements than it does talking with your friends,” said junior Gina Costagliola.

The screen where users were able to view who snapchatted them is now combined with the same screen that users can view the people on their friends’ stories, which is making it hard to decipher between stories viewed.

The “Discovery” page, which used to have stories displayed in chronological order, has now changed to stories for each application, like Twitter, Instagram, or other popular companies, as well as stories of celebrities that users may or may not have chosen to view.

When users want to view a friends story, they have to look hard in order to find it, and it may not even be visible if the user hasn’t sent a Snapchat to that person lately.

The update has caused a major uproar, resulting in a petition to remove the update, which has been signed by 571,264 users and counting. The petition hopes to reach 1,000,000 users.

According to Snapchat, separating social from media has allowed users to build the best way to communicate with friends and the best way to watch great content – while addressing many of the problems that plague the Internet today.

“I think the update took away the whole social aspect of the app and replaced it with advertising of pop culture and product promotion,” said junior Jacqueline Fernous.

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