Snapchat came under fire this month for releasing a full design update to its mobile app. This update combined Snapchat's messaging and image sharing features with Snapchat Stories, confusing many loyal customers. Additionally, the update added celebrity Snapchat stories to the Discover tab—an area traditionally saved for news and trending Stories around the globe.
sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me... ugh this is so sad.— Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) February 21, 2018
Initially, these design changes were met with backlash from the Snapchat community. Celebrity Kylie Jenner—traditionally a Snapchat enthusiast—Tweeted her dissatisfaction with the update. Jenner Tweeted, "sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me… ugh this is so sad." Her Tweet came at the same time that Snap Inc's stock dropped $1.3 billion in market capitalization.
On top of this, over 1.5 million Snapchat users signed a Change.org petition urging Snap to roll back the update. The petition notes that some users have used a VPN or "are using other risky apps" to reinstall an older version of Snapchat.
But don't stall your Snapchat marketing campaign just yet. Even with this backlash, Snapchat's install rate is up big time. Data from Sensor Tower shows that Snapchat saw a 55% week-over-week increase in first time app downloads during the week following the controversial update's rollout. Prior to the redesign, Snapchat's downloads were actually down 35% year-over-year (now they're down just 7.8%).
These statistics show us that Snapchat's latest update signals a reversal from its 2017 slump. Last year, Snapchat lost its dominance in the photo messaging space to Instagram after the Facebook-owned image sharing platform launched it's own stories and photo messaging platform in August.
So, despite backlash from celebrities and users, Snapchat has proven that "any publicity is good publicity" with its latest update. And now that more users are joining the platform, it's a good time for your brand to start using Snapchat as a marketing tool.
What are your thoughts on the new Snapchat update? Has it turned you or your brand away from the platform? Sound off in the comments.