Snapchat Returns Feed to Reverse Chronological Order For Some Users

Alfred Osborne
April 10, 2018

In its big, much-complained-about 2018 redesign, the app replaced the separate, (reverse) chronologically-ordered Stories and Messages pages with a new Friends page.

It's important to note that only select users are seeing their feeds reverted, but considering what a large change it is to go back to chronological Snapchat stories from the newly redesigned feature, it's likely that the company wants to test the waters before backtracking completely.

The problem with reverse chronological order is that it automatically gives frequent users an advantage over those who use the app less often.

Snapchat's move to algorithmic ranking in its big redesign earlier this year was in part created to ensure users never missed Stories from those they interacted with on Snapchat the most - even if they posted far less frequently. This order helps newcomers connect with favorites and may help if you only interact with a handful of people. That's similar to how Facebook's feed worked for a long time, and how Instagram started ranking its feed two years ago. Do you prefer Snapchat's reverse chronological order or something more algorithm-based?

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Snapchat had claimed that the change resulted in improved "daily active user" growth in Q4 2017.

We imagine most users will be thrilled about the news, as it should make the redesigned app feel a little more familiar and slightly easier to navigate.

Since an algorithmic feed supposedly worked well for Instagram and Twitter in terms of new user growth, it made sense for Snapchat to follow suit, especially since they've seen user growth fall to just 3% per quarter (from 17% pre-Instagram Stories). Snapchat initially refused to listen to its users, it seems as though the company is actually making moves reverting back to its old ways.

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