Hell hath no fury like a litany of teens shitting on an app redesign. And it seems that’s exactly what happened with Snapchat’s latest update, prompting over a million users to take some mild action in protest of the changes. But CEO Evan Spiegel is spinning this fury, somehow, as a sign of success.
During Goldman Sachs’ tech conference on Thursday, Spiegel said the company is “excited about what we’re seeing so far” in response to how the community is reacting to the redesign. He continued:
“Even some of the complaints we’re seeing reinforce the philosophy. So for example, one of the complaints we got, you know was, wow I used to feel like this celebrity was my friend and now they don’t feel like my friend anymore. And we’re like, exactly. They’re not your friend.
“So for us, even some of the frustrations we’re seeing really validate those changes. And it’ll take time for people to adjust. But for me having used it now for a couple months, I feel way more attached to and invested in the service than I ever have.”
While it’s true there’s often a grace period between users bemoaning app changes and learning to embrace them, the resentment for Snapchat’s latest update may have surpassed typical levels of discontent. As of today, 1.1 million people appear to have petitioned Snap “to change the app back to the basics, before the new 2018 update.” Judging from Spiegel’s comments above, a rollback of this redesign is simply not happening. But instead of mocking users, Spiegel might want to consider some of their qualms. It might help the company get less fucked.