The new approach separates the "social" from the "media", moving a news-heavy Discover feature to an area separate from users' friend lists. So much so that Facebook's Instagram shifted its own philosophy on user sharing 18 months ago to mimic (some say copy) Snap's low-pressure philosophy.
Today Snap updated Snapchat in a major way, fully packed with an experience "organized around your relationships and personalized just for you!"
The redesign will first be available to a small percentage of users later this week and then roll out more broadly early next week, according to a Snap representative.
So what exactly is the redesign? With the redesign swiping the camera to the left to access what is to the right of the screen will open Discover. Or it could be ignored, if people choose to only use the app to talk to friends.
"While blurring the lines between professional content creators and your friends has been an interesting Internet experiment, it has also produced some unusual side-effects (like fake news) and made us feel like we have to perform for our friends rather than just express ourselves", the Snap team wrote in a blog post. Putting all Discover content through human editorial review could weed out the click-bait disinformation that's plagued Facebook.More news: More Than 180 Women Accuse Massage Envy Therapists Of Sexual Assault
Camera - Snapchat points out that it hasn't made changes to the camera with its new update.
Snap is mixing Stories and private messages in a single Friends tab. But better late than never, and Snap's willingness to flip-flop on so many of its design and strategy choices is the courageous move it needed.
Snap executives hope the reorganization will lead to more conversations between close groups of friends.
Importantly, Snapchat is bringing back Stories auto-advance, but with a twist. The more you chat with them and watch their stories, the higher in your feed they will rise. That and Instagram Stories are believed to have sapped view counts, leading many to think Snapchat had lost its mojo. But, in one of the app's biggest changes, any chatting with friends or public Stories that friends post will now be accessible by swiping to the left side of the app. "The challenge is, in digital, it is more blurred by consumers who look to brands as friends".
The company is also touting its curated media offering as an alternative to "fake news" on other social channels. Humans make sure the content is good enough and accurate, and algorithms decide what you see first based on what you watched before. Now Stories from friends will be added to the left-hand personal messages page while brand stories will remain in Discovery. People always recoil to change. At half its IPO pop price, Snapchat needs a savior, and may have found it in the algorithm.