After first testing some tweaks to its controversial redesign with a subset of its users earlier this month, Snapchat is now making the changes official: The company is switching up some of the most-criticized elements of its new design, beginning with its iOS app.
Specifically, both snaps and chats are once again in chronological order. What’s more, stories from friends are once again moved to the right side of the app, where they are now listed in a separate friends row. Also on that page is now a separate subscription feed, designed to make it easier to follow stories from select publishers and creators.
Snap CEO Evan Spiegel had first mentioned these design changes on the company’s recent earnings call, where he framed the changes not as a roll-back but as an optimization of the redesign.
“We learned that combining watching Stories and communicating with friends into the same place made it harder to optimize for both competing behaviors,” he said. “The redesign created a lot of new opportunities, and we look forward to continuing our efforts to refine and improve Snapchat.“
The redesign also created a massive backlash from Snapchat’s users, with some 1.25 million signing a Change.org petition to roll it back. A number of celebrities with huge audiences on the platform echoed that criticism, including Kylie Jenner and Chrissy Teigen. Both contributed to significant pressure on Snap’s share price, with investors worrying that the platform was at risk of losing some of its key voices.
On Thursday, investors didn’t seem to much care much one way or another about the design tweaks, with Snap’s share price largely remaining flat in after-hours trading. The company’s stock has been down sharply ever since it released disappointing earnings on May 1.