By: Nick Arpino
The new Snapchat update has arrived and there is a handful of significant changes. Some of us downloaded this update not knowing what we would be getting ourselves into. Others may have fallen victim to the, seemingly helpful, auto-update. Regardless of whether you wanted it or not, there is no going back. Some changes that you will have to get used to include a dedicated discover section, a combination of the inbox and story screens, and new letter fonts.
The first thing I noticed, which so happens to be my greatest annoyance with the update, is the change in interface. The default screen after opening the app is still your live view through the camera lens. If you navigate to the screen on the right there is the first change, although it isn’t much of an upgrade. Now, you will see the discover section without your friends’ stories. I have always hated this feature. Many argue that there is a stigma about the credibility of what you see on social media. On the other hand, it is mostly tabloid level content with the occasional major news event or hot topic, such as Olympic event results. In addition to the tabloids, there is also plenty of sponsored content, not to mention the advertisements after friends’ stories. It seems as though Snapchat is becoming more focused on advertisements and sponsored content at the cost of user experience.
Sometimes two good things can be combined to form something greater, like movies and popcorn. Other times, no matter how great they are individually, two good things just do not mix well. What follows is one of those instances. If you navigate to the screen on the left, you will notice your inbox is still in its original place. Shortly after making that observation you would see that the stories feature is now on this screen as well. To myself and many of my peers who I have discussed it with, this change is of the utmost annoyance. This shift has led to an unorganized spewing of stories and snaps. Unread messages continue to appear in chronological order. However, stories are scattered in between read or unanswered snaps in a sporadic fashion. It seems that things just jump around once you swipe to the screen on the left.
The only decent modification is the implementation of multiple fonts. There are now thirteen choices of font that allow you to effectively communicate when Bitmoji isn’t getting the job done. That being said, Bitmoji does a pretty good job getting your point across or merely adding a bit more life to a snap. More so, this feature is already available for stories in the newest version of Instagram. When compared to the dozens upon dozens of Bitmoji, the choice from 13 fronts doesn’t even seem to be of much significance.
With all considerations in mind, the mess that is the new inbox significantly outweighs the added font choices. In summary, the two strikes against the update are the discover section and the merging of stories with the inbox while the addition of thirteen fonts was a small step in the right direction. However, it’s going to take more than rainbow font for me to consider this update to be an actual improvement.