Let's Chat About Snap | Op-Ed
Here's my 2¢ on the whole Snapchat update: I love it.
Now, before you click away from this, let me explain why.
It's finally clean. As clean as it can be, at least. But the scattered and confusing UI elements that were before are no longer. The experience is much better now, relatively speaking.
Previously, you had a slew of important features but weren't clearly directed where to find them. On the right, you had your friend's stories mixed in with ad and celebrity-based "discover" stories, that were frankly quite annoying.
Swiping down from the top would bring you to a "search" area now, instead of your own profile and account settings. That could be found by clicking an icon in the upper left.
Finally, on the left (from a swipe right), you could find your feed and history of sent and received pictures and text.
Now, it's much more refined, and almost reminds me of hmm, say... Instagram?
For example: on the right (swiping left) will bring you solely to the discover page. Don't like seeing those stories mixed in with your personal friend's stories? Now you don't have to.
Swiping down from the top will still bring you to a search page, but at least your profile / account icon is now consistently in the upper left, no matter which page you're on.
Then, on the left (from swiping right), you finally have your feed / history integrated with your friend's stories. Individual and group snap or chat history is listed here.
But the real change - or perhaps mimicked feature - is that a friend's personal is now indicated by a ring around their icon / avatar, next to your own history with them.
I think it makes great sense to finally merge any "stories" and put them in one place so it requires less swiping or searching, thus easing the experience of Snapchat.
People are apparently in outrage, based on recent tweets expressing their true feelings about this update.
The user interface and experience was broken, in my opinion, and Snapchat's goal to simplify and clean that up is a success. I may be more inclined to give Snapchat a second (or third, or fourth, or possibly fifth) chance.
If there's one last note, it's that things change - keep up. Innovation is hindered by stagnation.