Evan Spiegel

  • Snapchat’s redesign separates conversations with friends from a feed of content from professional publishers and public figures.
  • The redesign is a bet that Snapchat users care enough to seek out news and entertainment in the app.
  • Depending on how users respond, the redesign will have an either negative or transformative effect on Snap’s young business.

Snapchat has a problem: it’s too confusing for many people to use.

Its solution: a major overhaul of the app’s design, that could prove to be either a stroke of brilliance or a misguided effort to placate Wall Street’s hunger for growth.

With the redesign, which Snap said will be available to users over the coming days, all messages from friends will be shown to the left of Snapchat’s main camera. To the right of the camera will be a so-called Discover feed of algorithmically-sorted content from media partners, celebrities, and other vetted public figures.

By separating all professional content from conversations with friends, Snap is betting that its 178 million daily users will seek out the new Discover section for news and entertainment. Since launching in 2015, Snapchat’s Discover hub for media brands has been intertwined with disappearing posts shared by friends.

The risks and potential upsides of Snapchat’s big redesign:

Snapchat redesign

The risks: