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Snapchat introduces a redesigned app that separates your friends from brands

30 November 2017

On Wednesday, Snap provided a preview of the resigned Snapchat app, which is rolling out to a small number of users this week.

Friends Page - There's also a new Friends page that displays users' friends based on how they communicate with them. Snapchat's algorithms are superior, he argued, because they're "based on your interests-not on the interests of "friends"-and to make sure media companies also profit off the content they produce for our Discover platform".

Scattered among those headlines are links to more serious stories: "After the Olympics, a Nightmare in Rio" (The New York Times), and "North Korea Just Launched a Ballistic Missile" (CNN), but the vast majority of the editorial content featured on Snapchat today is lightweight fluff.

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".

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While swiping to the right will bring up a new Discover page which will showcace Snap Map to posts from publishers and influencers. But better late than never, and Snap's willingness to flip-flop on so many of its design and strategy choices is the courageous move it needed.

The new app is meant to be more personalized and is intended to more clearly distinguish content from friends and content from media partners, including influencers, whose use of the platform has dropped by 33%, according to a recent study from Mediakix. Everything within the app technically works but trying to navigate it has always been something of a pain.

"While blurring the lines between professional content creators and your friends has been an interesting Internet experiment, it has also produced some odd side-effects (like fake news) and made us feel like we have to perform for our friends rather than just express ourselves", the Snap team wrote in a blog post.

Snapchat still looks mostly the same, but there are a few big changes that should make using it a lot easier. Change might be necessary, however, as Snapchat's interface has been repeatedly copied by Facebook of late, including through Instagram Stories, which is now Snap's main competitor and a frequent pain point for the company. Private messages threads with friends, meanwhile, existed to the left of the camera, two swipes away from the Stories they shared. This changes how most of the content is shown to users and also includes some new features.

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The new friends page is dynamic.

The new redesign may scare off publishers who are used to having their content mixed with the stories of friends, which most likely generated more views as a result.

Or maybe it will as users become inundated and overwhelmed by a social media environment - primarily on Facebook, but also on Twitter - that has become bloated, noisy, and at times, toxic.

The redesigned Snapchat will keep friends and social content separate.

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Snapchat introduces a redesigned app that separates your friends from brands