Snapchat CEO admits the app is too hard to use and will redesign it

Evan SpiegelGetty/Michael KovacSnapchat CEO Evan Spiegel.
  • Snap announced on Tuesday plans to redesign its core product, Snapchat.
  • Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said that users have told him the Snapchat app is “difficult to understand” and “hard to use.”
  • The app redesign may pose a risk to Snap’s business because the company doesn’t yet know “how the behaviour of our community will change.”

Snapchat’s founder admitted that the company’s app is too difficult to use on Tuesday and vowed to redesign it, a startling move to abandon one of its core features less than a year after the company went public.

“One thing that we have heard over the years is that Snapchat is difficult to understand or hard to use, and our team has been working on responding to this feedback,” Snap founder and CEO Evan Spiegel wrote in prepared remarks, “As a result, we are currently redesigning our application to make it easier to use. “

Spiegel admitted the redesign could initially have a negative impact on Snap’s business.

“We don’t yet know how the behaviour of our community will change when they begin to use our updated application,” Spiegel wrote. “We’re willing to take that risk for what we believe are substantial longterm benefits to our business.”

The redesigned app would aim to make it easier to discover content on the platform and give users a more personalised experience. Users will eventually have their own Stories experience using machine learning, but “without compromising the editorial integrity of the Stories platform,” Spiegel wrote.

The news of the redesign came after Snap reported lacklustre earnings on Tuesday, missing Wall Street’s expectations for its third quarter. Snapchat added 4.5 million new users since the second quarter for a total of 178 million, a little more than half the 8 million expected by analysts for the quarter.

Shares dropped roughly 16% in after-hours trading.

Get the latest Snap stock price here.

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