After years of old people griping about how the app was hard to use — admittedly it was not the most intuitive — Snapchat announced in 2017 it would undergo a major redesign. (The company’s history of losing money also might have had something to do with it.) When the new app rolled out in January, though, people, well, hated it. Requests for a way to uninstall the newer version flooded Snapchat’s Twitter mentions. A petition circulated online aiming to bring back the old Snapchat. Publisher traffic went haywire. Brands like Maybelline and people/brands like Kylie Jenner tweeted that they just weren’t using Snapchat that much anymore. Turns out all this might have been avoided if Snap CEO Evan Spiegel had just listened to his wife, Miranda Kerr.
“First thing she said was: ‘What are you doing?,” Spiegel said of Kerr in an interview with CNBC when asked if he was “surprised” users responded “pretty badly. I thought it would be a little choppy, but I think the really important thing is to help people understand that we are migrating from this world where the stories page was really just a finite list of your friends to being a page that is open to a whole world of personalized content … we are not going to be amazing at it overnight.”
Since rolling out the redesigned app at the beginning of the year, Snapchat has walked back and tweaked some of the things it changed. Turns out enough people asking “What are you doing?” was enough to convince the company.