A viral rage from young and passionate users ripped apart Snapchat’s controversial app redesign earlier this year, but it was the single derogatory tweet from Kylie Jenner that sent this company into a nosedive. Ultimately causing them $1.3 billion from its market value and even laid off 120 of their employees because of it.
One of the changes that have caused trouble is combining stories and incoming snaps in one page, leading to a disorganized display and moving the verified celebrities on the discover feed, that way their followers won’t be able to see them on the friends feed. Chrissy Teigen weighed in on how it was nice that her followers could feel like they were friends through the app, now they’ve completely categorized celebrities to a different section.
It makes it seem like celebrities are just products that have to be labeled in a separate section apart from friends. Although they might as well be like products, through this app we are able to take a look into their lives in an unfiltered and raw way. Teigen later announced that she will no longer be using the app.
Now, the update was not the only issue with Snapchat. They’ve also put up an ad for a game of “Would you rather?” where a thirdparty app tastelessly attempted to make light of domestic violence.
Absolutely no one found this funny. Rihanna then issued a strongly worded response via Instagram Stories.
Following her initial statement, Rihanna alleged on Instagram that Snapchat, the company, doesn’t look out for the best interests of celebrities, who happen to be an important component of the platform. Snapchat quickly removed the ad and released a statement claiming the ad was “approved in error.”
In turn, its stock prices still fell almost five percent. Even the net worth of Evan Spiegel, Snap’s cofounder and CEO, fell nearly $150 million over two days.
Spiegel founded Snapchat with his Stanford University fraternity brother Bobby Murphy in 2011. Soon after launch, the app exploded, more particularly among young millennials. Still, competition from the likes of Instagram has caused growth to slow. The latest issues involving the updates, the celebrity backlashes, and millions of lost revenue, sure looks like a self-inflicted wound at a time when the company can hardly afford it.
Today, the company reportedly plans to bring back the old design, in an attempt to heal their wounds, but it’s hard to see how the company can bounce back after such turbulence, especially with so much competition around.
Though it may seem like it’s all a downward spiral from here, let’s not forget that this company blew up for a reason. With the likes of Instagram and Facebook obviously copying the idea of disappearing photo or video messages, the company itself may be on a descent, but this original idea might live on and evolve all-throughout social media platforms in the future.