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Snapchat’s potential redesign might be too little, too late

Snapchat might have a big overhaul coming soon. Can it help save the company’s flagging fortunes?

In his prepared remarks to investors regarding the company’s third quarter, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel admitted that his app might be a little user-unfriendly, and that it’s past time for the company to rectify that:

One thing that we have heard over the years is that Snapchat is difficult to understand or hard to use, and our team has been working on responding to this feedback. As a result, we are currently redesigning our application to make it easier to use.

Speaking as someone who’s done their best to explain the ins and outs of Snapchat and still finds it annoying to use sometimes, the app has long lived and died on the idea that it’s something you have to just “get.” If you don’t, you obviously must not fall into its young, hip user demographic.

That’s not my opinion, either. I’ve heard the phrase, “I’m too old for Snapchat” more times than I can count. I even fell into that trap a few times when I started using it.

But now user growth has stalled and Snapchat’s stock is taking a massive hit. According to Reuters, Snap’s stock shares went down by 20 percent following the company’s failure to meet even modest projected growth. So now the company is apparently starting to consider that it’s not the users, it’s the software.

I don’t want to see Snapchat go under, but I think the overhaul might come a bit too late. The reputation of being hard to use is difficult to shake, and Snapchat’s had that as a cornerstone of its appeal for so long, the redesign would have to be both massive and smoothly integrated for it to do any good.