By Ashley Harris 19'
Last November, Snapchat released a new update that changed essentially everything about the app. Most people on the Close didn’t see any changes until 2018, but there was major pushback when that day came. The halls filled with angry talk about discover pages and friend pages, classmates laughed mercilessly at peers who had been saddled with the update, and avid Snapchat users seriously considered deleting the app. But, there is a glass-half-full approach to viewing the chaos. I am here to convince you that there are some benefits associated with the Snapchat update.
For example, Bitmojis. The new Bitmojis are actually pretty cool and fairly reflective of everyone’s real appearance. Besides, they eliminate one’s need to OPEN snaps, because the person’s face is right in front of you already. It’s a great way to save data or cut back on that harmful Snapchat addiction that is slowly sinking your GPA.
Snapchat switched around stories a lot as well. Now you tap on a person’s name to view their story, and the app shows you the name of the next story, but does not automatically play it. This really forces each user to contemplate the reality of their relationships with others. Am I really friends with this person? Do I want to expend valuable energy tapping a screen to view their story? Am I still holding a grudge against them from that incident in third grade? These are very important inner monologues that everyone now gets the opportunity to have!
Another complaint about the update is that Snapchat no longer arranges snaps chronologically, but rather by some mysterious algorithm that decides who everyone’s best friends are. If you ignore the unnerving fact that artificial intelligence can figure out who is closest to you, this part of the update isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Think of how much thumb exercise you get scrolling through fifty names looking for the snap you just opened. Say goodbye to gym membership fees, you’re already set!
I won’t lie. When I awoke one morning to a confusing and unfamiliar Snapchat, I was not pleased. But, to write this article, I had to spend a lot of time on the Snapchat website reminding myself what the app was like pre-update. And if people are already starting to forget what things were like before, they can’t be all that bad now.