Snapchat introduces a redesigned app that separates your friends from brands

Cheryl Idell- Snap

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In an editorial for Axios this morning, Spiegel wrote, "The Snapchat solution is to rely on algorithms based on your interests - not on the interests of "friends" - and to make sure media companies also profit off the content they produce for our Discover platform". It will begin appearing later this week for a small test group, and is expected to roll out more broadly in coming weeks. When you open the app, you arrive at the camera page, where you can record Snaps to share with friends. "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". Having the news content in a personalized feed may make it more approachable, Snap said.

It's a relatively simple change, but one that should please some users who were exhausted of Snapchat pushing branded content in their face.

One of the most significant updates is separating content produced by family and friends, which will now live on the left side of the app, from that of publishers and other more professional organizations, now in the Discover tab on the right side. Swiping right from the camera shows your friend's Stories, as well as a variety of sponsored "articles".

Snap Inc. announced the specifics of the redesigned app on Wednesday, the changes came following disappointing third quarter earnings posted earlier this month.

The redesigned Snapchat will keep friends and social content separate.

Dividing content may make it hard for companies who are trying to squeeze their snaps between friend posts to get noticed.

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Back in April, we wrote that Snap was shooting itself in the foot by not putting your best friends' Stories first like Instagram does, rather than highlighting the most recently posted Stories which emphasized oversharers you might not care about.

Right now there's no way to avoid seeing Snapchat's branded content unless you just don't look at Stories at all, due to them being in roughly the same place.

Unread messages from friends will be shown at the top of the window, in chronological order, while other message threads and Stories will be shown algorithmically based on whom Snapchat believes you care about most.

Snapchat has mostly flown under the radar as its bigger social-media peers have taken a drubbing in Washington. Ultimately, the people you talk to the most should be easier to contact. The more you chat with them and watch their stories, the higher in your feed they will rise.

Importantly, Snapchat is bringing back Stories auto-advance, but with a twist. You can either tap the screen to view it or swipe it away to return to your chats. The new Discover page also has a new ad unit called Promoted Stories, which debuted last week and let brands create Discover channels filled with their own content.

First, Shapiro says, Snap told the agency that some advertising will still exist between friend snaps.

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