Snapchat hasn’t had a significant redesign since late 2017, and it’s not hard to see why. Its last redesign was barely tested before it was rolled out worldwide with little warning, losing it millions of users. Its growth since the update has been slow, but currently 218 million people use Snapchat every day. In this time, however, its competitor, Instagram Stories, has grown to 500 million daily users.
Snapchat’s 2020 Update Features
Snapchat’s update is hoping to highlight the features that are unique to the platform. One test is focusing on easy access to the Snap Map and its original content, while the other works to integrate top news headlines from reputable sources.
Snapchat Features Test One
The first test separates the different Snapchat features into five screens instead of the current three – one for messages, the homescreen, and the Discover page, plus a swipe down for the Snap Map. The screens will be, from left to right, the Snap Map, messages, homescreen, “Community” page (a new name for the Discover page), and a new screen exclusively for Snapchat’s original content. This test also includes a navigation bar that allows you to rapidly tap to different screens instead of swiping across all five, as seen below in images provided by The Verge.
Snapchat Features Test Two
The second test keeps the Snapchat layout mostly as-is, but adds a “Happening Now” section on the Discover page. This section would place headlines from publications like NowThis, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post directly in-app. Each headline is only one sentence and opens when tapped to show a short news story and relevant image.
The Results: Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories
Both of these layouts offer elements that Instagram and Instagram Stories are lacking. The first emphasizes the Snap Map, and the second allows only select publications on the platform to clearly delineate the most trustworthy voices. Providing users with more legitimization than just a verified symbol can limit the spread of misinformation and build trust in the platform. Highlighting these unique features more directly will help Snapchat get ahead of Instagram.
What do you think of the proposed changes to Snapchat? Will either of the new rollouts sway you away from Instagram Stories? Comment below or let us know on Twitter!