Snapchat unveils app update with big changes to Friends, Discover and Stories

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Meet the new Snapchat.

A new Discover feed shows algorithmically sorted content from media partners and verified celebrities.

He notes that Snapchat uses algorithms that are based on users' personal interests, rather than those of their friends.

The redesign will be made available to a small percentage of users later this week before rolling out to everyone early next week. Snapchat is now embracing the black-box equations that it once shunned. This particular remark is the strongest hint that Mr. Spiegel was directly critical of Facebook that's been unapologetically copying various features from Snapchat for years now and whose content algorithms operate in a fashion similar to the one described by him on Wednesday.

"While blurring the lines between professional content creators and your friends has been an interesting Internet experiment, it has also produced some odd side-effects (like fake news) and made us feel like we have to perform for our friends rather than just express ourselves", the firm said. That includes messaging threads and so-called "Stories" - photos and videos someone shares in chronological order that disappear in 24 hours. From the camera screen, you can swipe to the left to see your friends and to the right to see the new Discover tab. Business Insider first reported details of the planned redesign earlier this month. The app still lands on the camera, but now all of your social stuff, like messages and photos and stories, live on one page.

Snap is mixing Stories and private messages in a single Friends tab.

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How the old Snapchat worked. Therefore, the original News Feed would be only content from friends.

"We've all had the frustrating experience of scrolling endlessly through our Chats to find the right person - now your Friends will be listed in the order that you want to talk to them", the blog added.

When you install the update, Snapchat will be split in two.

Each feed will be ranked based on the user's historical viewing habits and the media brands they've chosen to subscribe to.

The new Snapchat app still opens to the camera, but there are changes from there. Either can create a Snapchat account, after all. Snap used to automatically play the next Story in your list after your last, but Snap moved to a more cumbersome Story playlist in 2010 where you had to manually pick what you wanted to watch. And to to view content from publishers, they swipe left instead. A team at Snapchat will be responsible for choosing the promoted content, with the company doubling down on human curation.

In 2018, Snap will also be focusing on providing Snapchat creators better distribution - and monetization opportunities. CEO Evan Spiegel has historically been against the kind of highly targeted ads that have been Facebook and Google billions, but Snap has recently made an effort to make its ads more customizable and accessible.

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