Being a product manager at Snapchat is like being Harry Styles' barber. Change one little thing, and the wrath of a million teens will rain down upon you.
So it went today with Snapchat's latest update, which added a few new features to the app. There are now two new ways to find friends — by scanning QR codes from your phone's camera roll or by finding them "nearby" using GPS . And you now have the ability to watch Stories by simply tapping on them once, rather than having to hold your finger down the entire time.
It's this last change that is proving difficult for Snapchat's young users to handle.
The teens' beef, as far as we can tell, is that Snapchat has made it easier for users to screenshot each others' photos. The old system required Snapchat users to hold a finger on their screen to view a friend's story. That made screenshotting difficult; to hit both the power and home buttons on an iPhone simultaneously, you need two fingers, and doing that while holding down a thumb on the screen required some hand contortions.
But with the updated app, no thumb-holding is necessary, which frees up that hand to take a screenshot. That could lead to more Snapchat users screenshotting each others' Stories — an act that is generally considered kind of sketchy. Making screenshots easier to take, in other words, potentially leads to more photos becoming permanent that were meant to be temporary.
w/ the snapchat update u don't have to hold the screen to watch them lmao do u know how easy that makes it to screenshot
— liv (@liv_sw) July 1, 2015
To be fair to Snapchat, not everyone hates the update. Some users chimed in on Twitter to say how much they appreciated the changes.
(note: Farhad Manjoo is not a teen; he is a tech columnist.)
I love the new snapchat update
— Mikayla Bond (@mikayyyxo) July 1, 2015
Changes to popular apps are always controversial. And teens will undoubtedly get over their opposition to Snapchat's new interface soon. In the meantime, though, get ready for a lot of whining.