Snapchat has officially released a new design and user interface.
Initially, Snapchat tested the new user interface and user experience on a small group of Android users. On Monday, the company unleashed a behemoth of new features. Snapchat’s new UI/UX include a brand new universal search bar. The goal of the new search bar is to make it easier for Snapchat users to send messages to friends, watch Stories, chat with groups, and search other users.
The company also changed their animations, chat user interface, camera display, updated Stories features, and added Bitmoji to the Snapchat app; Bitmoji will allow for users to make customized avatars.
These were not the only new features Snapchat upgraded. The New York Times reports, Snapchat published new guidelines for their publishers using Discover. From now on, Snapchat will restrict publishers from using clickbait images or writing misleading headlines. Ultimately, Snapchat is attempting to position themselves as a serious news source by cutting down on clickbait stories on the popular social media app. The New York Times reports, Snapchat also plans to implement age-restrictions on certain news stories to prevent minors from seeing inappropriate content on the Discover section.
Rachel Racusen, a Snapchat representative spoke with the Times about the new changes. Racusen states the new Discover section will “empower our editorial partners to do their part to keep Snapchat an informative, factual and safe environment for everyone,” said Rachel Racusen, a Snapchat representative.
Snapchat has been actively upgrading their platform. Earlier this month, Sony Pictures CEO, Michael Lynton, left Sony Pictures to join Snapchat. Michael Lynton will become the Chairman of the Board of Snap Inc. In a statement Lynton explained, “I have been involved with Evan and Snapchat since its early days, and given its growth since then, decided the time was right to transition and focus on my role as Chairman of the Board of Snap Inc.”
Outside of hiring new talent to help run the growing business. The social media company released a new product, Spectacles. For $129 dollars, users can purchase Spectacles via a Snapchat vending machine. After a pair of spectacles are purchased, the device is pairable with a smartphone; this feature allows users to record Snapchat videos. After recording a video, the video will appear under the memories tab within the Snapchat application.
After the company acquired Bit Strips, Bitmojis became extremely popular on the application. Bit Strips allow for users to create personalized emojis, also known as, Bitmojis. Bit Strips was founded 10 years ago. Bit Strips allowed for users to create personal digital comics. By 2014, the company reinvented itself by making digital cartoon avatars. Last March, Snapchat acquired Bitstrips. According to a Fortune report, Snapchat may have paid around $100 million in cash and stock.
Snapchat is consistently updating their social media app. Piper Jaffray, an investment firm, conducted a study in 2016; the study found millennials are spending more time on Snapchat than on Facebook. In fact, 80 percent of teens said they checked Snapchat at least once per month. While only 52 percent of teens said they used Facebook in the past month, which was a 15 percent drop from Jaffray’s previous survey.