Snapchat redesigns app to attract more users

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This photo provided by Snapchat shows screen examples of Snapchat’s redesign. Snapchat is separating what friends share and what media organizations publish in an attempt to appeal to a broader range of users. Users will now see two separate feeds: one from friends and one from publishers and non-friend accounts they follow. (Snapchat via AP)

NEW YORK — Snapchat is separating what friends share and what media organizations publish in an attempt to appeal to a broader range of users.

Users would now see two separate feeds. Before, the visual-messaging app was mixing posts from friends, publishers, celebrities and others, much the way Twitter, Facebook and other rivals continue to do.

Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel took a jab at rivals, writing that social media “fueled” so-called fake news because of content mixing.

“After all, how many times have you shared something you’ve never bothered to read?” Spiegel wrote on Axios.

Snapchat has not been gaining enough users, especially beyond its core of younger people. Instead, rival services have managed to copy Snapchat’s most popular features and make them available to a broader audience. This includes Stories, a way to show photo and video snippets that disappear after 24 hours; Snapchat pioneered it, while Facebook’s Instagram popularized it.

With growth stagnant, parent company Snap’s stock is down sharply since its initial public offering earlier this 2017. Snap hinted at changes three weeks ago, but did not provide details then.

Beyond separating feeds, Snapchat would now order posts using a formula to try to appeal to users’ likes, instead of listing them chronologically. Facebook has long done that; Twitter and Instagram followed more recently.

Even so, Spiegel seemed determined to set Snapchat apart from its bigger rivals. When users open Snapchat, for instance, they would still see the app’s camera first.

“Snapchat began as an escape from social media, where people could send photos and videos to their friends without the pressure of likes, , and permanence,” Spiegel wrote.          /kga

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