Snapchat Redesign Puts Brands in Their Place

By: Jerry Ascierto

November 30, 2017

Snap, Inc. has redesigned its platform to simplify the user experience, separating branded content from that of your friends, or put another way, separating “the social from the media.” But publishers and other brands may view the redesign as just another nail in the coffin of organic reach.

The center of Snap is, as always, the camera. But the redesign put Chats and Stories from friends to the left side of the camera while Stories from publishers, creators and the rest of the Snapchat community are on the right. In a blog post announcing the change, the company noted that social media’s mixing of content from publishers and content from friends has resulted in some unintended consequences, such as fake news.

Brands will take a hit from the redesign initially, though there is a way around it. Snapchat considers a friend anyone who you follow and who follows you back–and brands can certainly follow their followers.

The redesign isn’t a radical overhaul, more evolutionary than revolutionary. Content on the platform has always been organized by chats with friends on the left and branded content on the right. But the Stories feature, where content disappears after 24 hours, always blended the two.

The redesign hits the ground running with a new feature that hammers home the personal touch: a dynamic Friends page, which displays friends based on how often you talk to them. Meanwhile, the branded Discover side of the platform will also be personalized, ranking Stories you might be interested in the most.

“While the Stories on Discover are personalized algorithmically, our curators review and approve everything that gets promoted on the page,” read the blog post announcing the redesign. “We believe that this balance of human review and machine personalization provides the best content experience on mobile.”

It’s obviously too soon to see what impact the redesign will have on brands, but we’ll take a look at that soon on this site. Stay tuned.


Follow Jerry: @Jascierto

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