One of the longstanding knocks against Snapchat is that the app’s design is confusing to use.
And with the company preparing for a massive IPO, that’s something that might not sit well with investors looking for the next Facebook.
On Thursday, Snapchat took the first step to making its app easier to use and more accessible to the general public.
An update to the app announced on Thursday, streamlines the app’s design with more visual profiles and improved search capabilities.
A new search bar throughout the app lets you quickly jump into conversations with friends, and each profile can be represented by its own Bitmoji, the customisable emoji app Snapchat purchased for more than $100 million in July 2016.
Snapchat will also use the new search bar to surface the handful of media partners who create content in its app every day — so you’ll be able to search for “CNN” to see its daily package of stories from Snapchat’s Discover section.
Snapchat is also stepping up its crowdsourcing of user videos, which it calls “stories.” Every one of the app’s 150 million daily users will be able to submit video clips to a global “Our Story,” which the company’s employees will then collect around themed events and specific locations like a football game.
A spokesperson said that Thursday’s updates will be available to a limited number of Android users first before they’re made available to all Snapchat users “soon.”
Snapchat parent company Snap Inc. is preparing for an initial public offering that could value its advertising businesses at between $20-25 billion.