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Snapchat users hating the redesign flock to Instagram

JP Mangalindan
·Chief Tech Correspondent
It’s official: Snapchat users hate the new redesign.
It’s official: Snapchat users hate the new redesign.

Many Snapchat (SNAP) users hate the redesign that began rolling out earlier this month — and Instagram may be reaping the benefits.

New data released by LikeFolio, which analyzed tweets about Snapchat since the start of 2018, reveals a huge spike in negative sentiment about the app since the app rolled out its all-new user interface en masse earlier this month.

Snapchat’s redesign is its biggest change to date, ditching the previous tried-and-true format that divided sections into Chat, Stories, and Discover and removing the dedicated Stories feed completely. In its place is a new Friends section which combines Chat and Stories from friends, while the new version of Discover, also features some Stories from publishers and the community.

Those changes have Snapchat’s loyal community up in arms. Model Chrissy Teigen tweeted her disapproval of the redesign, while more than 840,000 angry users have so far signed a Change.org petition calling for parent company Snap to revert the app back to the original design.

Indeed, as of Tuesday, nearly 80% of all conversations about Snapchat which contained sentiment — users expressing feelings one way or another about the change — were negative, even downright scathing, according to LikeFolio.

Source: LikeFolio
Source: LikeFolio

To wit, here are just a few examples of Snapchat user vitriol on Twitter (TWTR):

Snapchat’s redesign controversy could have unintended consequences — or rather benefits — for competitor Instagram, which cribbed Snapchat’s Stories format and rolled out a version of its own in August 2016. The move proved an extremely savvy one for Instagram, with 300 million people using Instagram Stories everyday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed in November.

That number could be even higher now, thanks to Snapchat. LikeFolio predicts that while Snapchat’s redesign isn’t likely to significantly boost Instagram’s overall user base, it does appear to have a positive effect on the number of people using the Instagram Stories feature inside the Instagram app. To wit, “purchase intent” around Instagram Stories — people talking about switching over from Snapchat to use it — saw a significant increase during the same time period negative sentiment regarding Snapchat spiked in early February.

“Snapchat users absolutely hate the new interface,” LikeFolio’s report concluded. “Instagram looks to be a beneficiary of this, as frustrated Snapchat users begin relying on the Instagram Stories feature instead of Snapchat.”

Source: LikeFolio
Source: LikeFolio

Those conclusions are backed by anecdotal evidence:

To be fair, big changes, particularly on social platforms, almost always make waves. Whenever Facebook (FB) makes a major tweak to its News Feed algorithm, for instance, a small group of users revolt. That seems to be the case with Snapchat’s redesign, although the ruckus seems much louder than usual. What remains to be seen is whether the furor eventually dies down and users get used to the changes, or whether Snapchat engagement is somehow permanently hurt in the long-term.

JP Mangalindan is the Chief Tech Correspondent for Yahoo Finance covering the intersection of tech and business. Email story tips and musings to jpm@oath.com. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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