Posted by on Feb 20, 2018 at 10:35am
It’s safe to say that the new Snapchat update has not been well received. A petition to revert the recent updates has seen more than one million signatures, with disgruntled users unhappy with how the app’s interface has been almost completely redesigned.
What’s worse, a fake post on Twitter which falsely promised the new update would be reversed if enough people shared the tweet, has become of one of the most retweeted posts in Twitter history after being shared by more than 1.5 million people.
The new update to Snapchat has seen the platform redesigned to highlight brands and publishers on the app, with a distinct division between friends and celebrities. Conversations with friends are integrated with recent Stories and there’s been an altogether upheaval of the user interfaces.
For businesses, Snapchat is one of the most successful platforms to reach out to audiences through influencers. Over the past five years, influencer marketing has had a significant impact on helping businesses build trust, loyalty, and ultimately, sell a service. But how will the new update impact businesses that promote their brand and products through the app?
The problem therein lies with the emphasis on completely separating celebrities and friends. This is seemingly the opposite of what social media has achieved over the last five years as we now live side-by-side with celebrities, living their daily lives with them.
Snapchat has always offered a raw, non-photoshopped view into the day-to-day lives of celebrities. By seeing Kylie Jenner sandwiched between Sophie from work and Sam the ex-boyfriend, the public are ever-closer to their idols. With this being a significant reason why Snapchat has worked so well for businesses, it is a worry going forward that influencers will no longer be seen as relatable people that the public can aspire to.
Utilising Snapchat for businesses is a two-way street. With Snapchat being different from Instagram as ‘likes’ don’t rule the playground, it’s crucial that Snapchat can maintain its daily user statistics. Users must be constantly engaging with content but influencers must be regularly uploading such content. And with more and more users making it clear they will be moving from Snapchat in favour of Instagram stories following this latest update, it may not be worth businesses prioritising Snapchat coverage from key influencers.
It’s now clear that Snapchat will not be reversing the recent changes. Only time will tell whether this will be damning for Snapchat in the long-term, or whether, like many other social media updates that have proven unpopular in the first couple of months, users will adjust to the changes.
However, with fierce competition from the likes of Instagram and Facebook, it seems that the anger towards the update has pushed more people to boycott Snapchat and we may well see the increasing decline of Snapchat in the face of this.
We’ll wait and see!