The State of Snapchat 2018: The Update Heard ‘Round The World’

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When Snapchat began developing its latest update, the goal was to create a more user-friendly app. But for who? The update comes at a time when quarterly sales and user acquisition has exceeded even Wall Street’s expectations.

According to Snapchat, the redesign has separated friends’ stories from influencer and business content. The rationale is that it will encourage an increase in users which will, in turn, give advertisers and branded content an even larger audience.

This seems perfectly logical on paper, but it hasn’t persuaded everyone. Doug Rozen, Chief digital innovation officer for Omnicom amongst them, “By separating consumer conversation from brand and publisher conversation, we are witnessing the death of organic branded dialogue and the birth of splintered social.”

“This is analogous to media 30 years ago: a modern-day telephone for conversing with friends on the left and reinvented broadcast television set for published conversation on the right. The challenge is, in digital, it is more blurred by consumers who look to brands as friends.”

Ouch, harsh condemnation. Is this update really sending us back to the 80s? A time when media platforms hardly ever strayed outside their traditional boundaries?