In Brief

Snapchat’s ‘useless’ redesign provokes 680,000 protests

Online petition demands Snap revert to app’s previous version

More than 680,000 Snapchat users have signed an online petition asking parent company Snap to revert to the old version of the app, complaining that the redesign is “annoying” and “useless”.

Snapchat has irritated “teens and celebs alike, and may put the fragile company in more trouble”, reports The Daily Beast. Technology news website Mashable says the update is a “major #facepalm”.

Snap, which turned down Facebook’s $3bn (£2.16bn) offer to buy the company in 2013, has faced increasingly pressure from Wall Street since Facebook introduced Snapchat-like sharing feature and camera filters in “Facebook Stories”.

The California-based company reported fourth-quarter figures last week that beat forecasts, despite racking up a loss of $350m (£251m). Analysts had expected losses to be bigger.

Snapchat’s “drastic” new layout, debuted last week, was supposed to make the app simpler to use and thereby broaden its appeal. “Unfortunately, a lot of people found it to be a confusing mess,” says the CNBC website.

The unsnappy new design condenses Stories (photos and videos that disappear after a day) and Snaps (real-time conversations) on a new “Friends” page, but not in chronological order. Instead, a Snapchat algorithm ranks friends believed to be the user’s priority. In another change, the “Discover” page now consists entirely of sponsored or featured content.

Everyone went “a bit bonkers” after the redesign, BuzzFeed says, with many using social media to complain and share tips about how to revert to the old Snapchat.

Snap chief executive Evan Spiegel told Wall Street analysts during an earnings conference call that the company is monitoring the roll-out and will adjust features based on user feedback, CBS News reports.

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