The Snapchat update released on Jan. 27 sparked a dramatic reaction among users of the popular social media application. Many were disappointed when they discovered that they could no longer view other users’ “best friends.” But many were happy to see the addition of a news section to the application.
Teenagers’ reactions to the elimination of best friends seemed to be divided into two factions: Some were happy to be able to send snaps to whoever they wanted without being “spied on” by jealous friends or partners. But the “spies” were disappointed, discovering that they could no longer click on the person’s name and check the three people with whom that person snapped most. Social networks, mostly Twitter, were full of statuses of different opinions. A girl disappointingly posted on Twitter “Did you hear that? It’s the sound of cheating boys exhaling in relief because the new Snapchat update doesn’t show your best friends anymore.” Lots of other people, mostly girls, shared this feeling. The opposite faction shared thoughts more like: “Creeping on other people’s best friends list on Snapchat has finally come to an end. Secret relationships making a comeback.”
Despite the controversial best friends update, Snapchat added a new feature called Discover. This service gives the app users the opportunity to catch up on the latest news with pictures, videos, and articles. On Discover, a wide range of stories can be found, from sports or international news, to recipes or nature documentaries. This is possible thanks to the collaboration of the application with 11 media companies such as Cosmopolitan, ESPN, National Geographic, Yahoo and Comedy Central. The stories are refreshed by each company every 24 hours so that users have something new to discover every day.
“Social media companies tell us what to read based on what’s most recent or most popular. We see it differently. We count on editors and artists, not clicks and shares, to determine what’s important,” the Snapchat website said.
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