Not a fan of Snapchat’s redesign? A test suggests that the company could be bringing back snippets of the old version and merging them with the new app. Snapchat recently confirmed a test that brings Stories from friends into the Discover tab, creating less of (but not completely bridging) the separation between brands and friends. And now, it’s more than just a test — apparently, Snapchat has rolled out the redesigned redesign (which is to say, the old design) to the “majority” of iOS users. There’s no word yet on the status of the Android app.
This new (or old) version puts Stories from friends into the Discover tab. The change is somewhat similar to Snap’s earlier design that mixed all the Stories in one place. In the test, The Discover tab has sections for friends, a separate section for subscriptions, and another for suggested content.
The move isn’t exactly like the original Snapchat — those Stories are on the same page, but not inside the same stream. That means if you tap a Story from the friends category on the Discover page, that won’t be mixed in with brand content — you’ll still have to head to the subscription section to view content from brands. Separating companies from people was a big focus for Snapchat’s new design and while the test could make Stories easier to find, the network isn’t completely bridging the gap between those two groups.
For a few weeks, this redesign was naught but a test, though a Snapchat spokesperson said at the time that “we’re always listening to our community,” suggesting the change is in response to the user feedback that followed the redesign. Some users complained that they couldn’t find Stories from friends with the separation while others said they didn’t like how subscriptions were mixed in with Stories from users that they don’t yet follow.
Snapchat rolled out several more minor changes since the previous controversial update, designed to make the app simpler to navigate for users while also separating friends from brands. Stories can now be shared outside the app on the web, while the app also gained new text and mute options.
Snapchat declined to comment on why the network is now implementing the change. As Recode speculates, the move could be because, with separate locations for Stories, fewer users are watching Stories, or perhaps brands are getting fewer views with the separation.
Updated on May 11: The redesign to the redesign has begun rolling out to a “majority” of iOS users.