One of the big differences between Snapchat and other social media platforms is the lack of being able to connect with people outside of your friends. On Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you are exposed to not only your friends but also brands. This makes it easy to connect with various communities of people. In an effort to branch out and stay true to their known intimate approach, Snapchat has launched a redesign.
At the moment, this redesign is still being tested but will be available to all in the coming weeks. Snapchat is laid out where you have your friends on the left side, camera in the middle, stories to the right of the camera, and discover is the last page. Snapchat has noticed a slight confusion because friends and brands will show up on the stories tab.
The redesign will completely separate friends from brands. The friend’s page to the left of the camera will now show your friends and their stories together. Then you will have the camera in the middle and branded content to the right of the camera. Basically, the left side will be for sharing and discussing and the right side is for searching and consuming.
Snapchat also has a method for determining who goes on the friend side and who goes on the brand side. If an account follows you back, they are considered a friend, if they don’t, they are considered a brand and show up on the discover page.
The app is also working on tailoring its algorithm to function more similarly to other platforms. If you engage with someone or certain brands more they will show higher in your feed. You can also personalize your discover page by subscribing to selected brands and publishers.
“Until now, social media has always mixed photos and videos from your friends with content from publishers and creators,” the company said in a blog post. “While blurring the lines between professional content creators and your friends has been an interesting internet experiment, it has also produced some strange side-effects (like fake news) and made us feel like we have to perform for our friends rather than just express ourselves.”
In an effort to help brands on Snapchat utilize this new redesign to their advantage, Snapchat has created a best practices guide to share with their brand partners. As far as this redesign goes for consumers, it might take a while to get used to the new layout, but should ultimately be a better and clearer functioning platform. The company mentioned how brands might begin to follow people back as “friends” to appear on the other side of the app and cheat the system, but Snapchat has made it where if they do this then they will show lower on the feed than they would have if they just stayed in the discovery section.
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