What the Snapchat Redesign Means for the Industry

Snapchat will be redesigning their app, more specifically the Discover section of the app, by splitting publisher content and messages from friends and use an algorithm that decides what media content users will see. The algorithm, based on machine learning, is part of a redesign that will help advertisers and publishers get in front of the right audience base by understanding the preferences and interests of users. . Publishers are anticipating the new version to be made available to the public in a few weeks.

In addition, the content posted in their app will be reviewed by Snapchat curators which will make sure that all content follows the guidelines that the company has put in place. By approving content for the app, Snapchat will differentiate itself from Facebook, Twitter, etc. and break the mold of social media in general and potentially limit the amount of fake news circulating the app.

“One of the complaints we’ve heard about social media is that photos and videos from your friends are mixed in with content from publishers and creators and influencers,” says Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel. “But your friends aren’t content. They’re relationships. That’s why today we’re separating the ‘social’ from the ‘media.'”
This may be a promising new approach for publishers that were previously disgruntled about not receiving the expected ad revenue from the platform. A publisher working with Snapchat told Adage that “revenue share numbers have been far lower than we want…Snapchat has to be way more aggressive getting users to the content more frequently.”

Snapchat just recently revealed disappointing third quarter results, with ad sales that were $30M less than anticipated, with the price per ad plummeting 60% based on their ad selling system. After the earnings announcement, Spiegel vowed to make it easier to discover content on their platform, which would boost profits for the company and publishers alike. According to Techcrunch, even if Snapchat doesn’t increase their user base, the redesign could keep users on their platform longer and in front of more ads.

“There is a strong likelihood that the redesign of our application will be disruptive to our business in the short term, and we don’t yet know how the behavior of our community will change when they begin to use our updated application,” Spiegel said during the third quarter analyst call. “We’re willing to take that risk for what we believe are substantial long-term benefits to our business.”

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