23rd Feb 2018 by Jess Bashford

Is This The End Of Snapchat?

Today, if you were to Google “Snapchat” you’d be presented with news story after news story about how Kylie Jenner has single handily cost the photo sharing app $1.8 billion.

Snapchat has been dealing with a huge backlash since its app redesign a couple of weeks ago and, now, with several celebrities commenting on the design and negative tweets and petitions being released to get the old design reinstated, could we be seeing the demise of Snapchat?

We all know Snapchat did a bad thing recently and redesigned its app to (in short) increase their revenue (as if they needed to), but what Snapchat probably didn’t expect is the sheer amount of pure hatred users seem to have for the new design.

There have been other social media updates that initially received negative vibes such as the Instagram ‘word art’ gradient logo and, not to mention, almost all of the Facebook updates. So we can maybe forgive Evan Spiegel for thinking this would all blow over and people would get used to it.

Unfortunately though, this doesn’t appear to be blowing over or going away anytime soon and now with Kylie Jenner voicing her opinion, the company seem to be on tenterhooks.

Influencer Power

Kylie Jenner, 20, (part of the Kardashian franchise) is one of the most popular Snapchat users and, yes, she is incredibly powerful in the influencer market, so you can be forgiven for thinking her anti-Snapchat tweet was the sole cause of the 7% decline in Snap Inc’s stock price.

After Jenner’s 24.5 million followers on Twitter saw her tweet, the company’s stock spiralled over 7 percent. Coincidence? We’d like to think not.

Kylie Jenner grew her influencer profile and most of her fame (minus that which came with her family name) came from her Snapchat account, so the fact she has publicly announced that she is no longer interested in the app is bound to make her millions of followers, follow in her footsteps and also stop using it. If it’s not good enough for Kylie, then it’s not good enough for them.

This reflects the immense power influencers have in today’s day and age and now it seems this power is not only being used to help push a product, but it would appear that their influence is spilling over into the stock markets and can actually affect company’s stock value just like this

Some Twitter users are even tweeting “King Kylie” and saying that if she doesn’t like the redesign, she should become the fearless leader who pressures the tech giant to revert to its original design.

Unfortunately for those diehard fans though, we can’t see this becoming reality, as shortly after her first tweet dissing the app, Kylie tweeted again saying Snap was still her first love.

However, in response to all the news surrounding Kylie’s tweet, it has been said that Snap Inc’s stocks had in fact been declining for some time and by Thursday this week it was in fact neutral and has since started to begin trading up. Reports have even shown that daily user growth has continued and reaccelerated.

However, Jenner is not the only celebrity tweeting publicly about their distaste of the new design. Chrissy Teigen, for instance, said it made it feel like she wasn’t communicating with friends anymore but with followers.

At a conference this week, CEO Evan Spiegel hit back and said that this was the whole point of the redesign and quite bluntly put it to all celebrities, that users “are not your friend.” He has also said that despite the backlash and petitions floating around, the redesign is here to stay.

To back up the idea that influencers have much more power now then they ever did, our PR clients affilinet have previously undergone a study looking into the amount of sway influencers have on the purchasing habits of Britons alone, and found that 51 per cent of young UK adults purchased an item or experience in the last year because an influencer they follow promoted or discussed it on their social platforms.

It also uncovered 4 per cent had purchased clothing promoted by an influencer. Meanwhile, 36 per cent had bought make-up or beauty products, 21 per cent video games, 16 per cent furniture, and 12 per cent kitchen appliances or utensils. The average amount disclosed by respondents, as to money spent on an influenced purchase, was £285.

Brands Getting In On The Action

After Kylie Jenner shared the fact she doesn’t open the app anymore, global cosmetic brand Maybelline New York waded in on Twitter asking its followers in a poll whether Snapchat is the best platform to connect with its customers anymore.

The brand’s followers were invited to reply with ‘Yes, please don’t leave’ or ‘No, I like IG stories.’ The tweet has since been deleted. While the results of the poll can no longer be found, having the option to select ‘No’ and putting Snapchat against Instagram (its biggest competitor) would have merely added fuel to the seemingly never ending fire surrounding the redesign.

Viral Protests And Petitions

Finally, in the midst of users pining after the old version of the app, a fake conversation between Snapchat and an unhappy user has gone viral and has now become one of the most popular tweets of all time.

While Snapchat has ignored most of the hatred and complaints so far, can they really ignore this very public wave of frustration?

Isaac Svobodny is a regular social media user. Like most of us, he enjoys sharing his thoughts on Twitter, sometimes even reaching out directly to brands to share his bad experience. On February 8, he did just that.

He messaged Snapchat on Twitter and expressed his frustration about its recent app redesign. For a little extra fun, Isaac also asked Snapchat how many retweets it would take for the company to revert back to its old design, to which Snapchat replied and set the bar at 50,000 retweets.

So far, so good. 50,000 retweets with the backing of Kylie Jenner wouldn’t be hard to do right?

Sure, except that the said post was actually a fake and the conversation never really happened. But what certainly is real, is the engagement Isaac’s Tweet gained. Today, Isaac’s Tweet counts almost 1.5 million retweets, 600K likes, and more than 11K replies, and has become one of the most popular tweets of all time!

There is also an ongoing petition on change.org to get the app to revert to its original design which so far has had over 1.2 million signatures.

With so much negativity, we can’t imagine the Snapchat offices are enjoying themselves all that much right now, but one thing is certain; no matter how many shares the company loses, or how hard its stock crashes, Evan Spiegel is not budging on the decision to change the design of the app.

This also goes to show that while influencers do not currently have the power to take down apps altogether, they most certainly have a temporary effect on them, and with the influencer culture growing every day, it’s only a matter of time before this temporary effect becomes a permanent one.

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