Snap CEO Evan Spiegel showed no signs of wavering on Snapchat’s recent controversial redesign during an appearance at a Goldman Sachs investor event Thursday. “We are excited about what we are seeing so far,” Spiegel said about the redesign, and first reactions from users.
That’s despite the fact that there has a been a broad push-back against the redesign on social media, and that more than a million people have signed a petition on Change.org to roll back the design changes. In fact, Spiegel even claimed that some of the criticism validated Snap’s redesign.
“Some of the complaints we are seeing are reinforcing our philosophy,” he said. For instance, some people complained that before the redesign, celebrities had felt like friends, whereas they were now relegated to the public stories section of the app. Spiegel defended that move as essentially more honest: “They’re not your friends,” he quipped.
Snapchat first announced the new design late last year, and gradually introduced it in a subset of its markets earlier this year. This month, it rolled out the update to many more users, with the goal of transitioning its entire user base by the end of this quarter.
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“We’ve been thinking about the redesign for a really long time,” Spiegel said Thursday. One of the motivations for the redesign was to make the product simpler to use, and also attract a wider user base — something that could be key to reinvigorating Snapchat’s user growth.
Snapchat has had a few lackluster quarters after its IPO last year, but was able to surpass investor expectations with the addition of close to 9 million new users in Q4. Speaking about how it has been to operate as a public company, Spiegel said that it was invigorating. “We love it,” he proclaimed.