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Snapchat: when change hinders brand relations

Posted by Ryan O'Leary on 16th February 2018

In my very first blog for Wildfire I wrote on how the Instagram story function was likely to take over from Snapchat as the people’s favourite social media app for sharing videos and photos: What’s the Story Instagram Glory?

If that wasn’t completely the case back in August, it very well could be now. This month, Snapchat decided to carry out a completely new update and it has backfired in an extraordinary fashion. Let’s face it, us Brits don’t handle change well at the best of times, but it appears Snapchat’s new layout has really given us as a nation the right hump!

People are that annoyed by the change that over a million have signed a petition to remove the 2018 update. Signing petitions to overturn concepts that we don’t agree with is starting to become a recurring theme in Britain lately… but I have to say the new update really hasn’t helped Snapchat.

With the company already under pressure from rival app Instagram and its well-oiled story mode, the new update should have been a statement of intent. Instead, it makes Snapchat ugly, hard to use and fails to engage with users. With many people voicing their opinions on Twitter, the pressure to reverse the update is building.

Time for a crisis management campaign? Not yet. Snapchat is holding out firm and in a statement a spokeswoman said “updates as big as this one can take a little getting used to, but we hope the community will enjoy it once they settle in”. It’s a fair statement, but with such high-profile uproar it will be interesting to see how this one plays out.