Many Snapchat users woke up this morning to find that their beloved app looked quite different than they were used to it appearing. Others, however, woke up this morning to find that the app… looked exactly the way it always has. If you’re in the second camp and have spent all morning wondering, “Why don’t I have the Snapchat redesign update?”, however, good news: There are a few perfectly reasonable explanations for the snazzy new look’s absence from your device. Worry no more!
Snapchat's redesign was originally announced at the end of November 2017 in a post on Snap Inc.’s blog. “Until now, social media has always mixed photos and videos from your friends with content from publishers and creators,” the company wrote at the time. “While blurring the lines between professional content creators and your friends has been an interesting internet experiment, it has also produced some strange side-effects (like fake news) and made us feel like we have to perform for our friends rather than express ourselves.”
The updated version of Snapchat is designed, therefore, to “[separate] the social from the media,” as Snap Inc. put it. In order to accomplish this goal, the update places Chats and Stories from your actual friends on the left-hand side of the screen under a new “Friends” page; the right side, meanwhile, holds a new “Discover” page populated with Stories from other sources — content creators, publishers, and so on and so forth.
The thing is, even though the redesign was announced months ago, it was only available to a very small percentage of users at the time. It didn’t begin to roll out across the entire platform until recently — hence why some users felt like the update’s widespread arrival today came a little out of left field. But while some users logged onto Snapchat this morning to discover the update had been bestowed upon them while they weren’t looking, others did not. So: What gives?
When new social media features have been announced, but some users find they don’t have them yet, it’s typically due to one of two reasons: Either the update is rolling out gradually, or the users don’t have the latest version of the app installed on their devices. In the event that your lack of update is because of a gradual roll-out, unfortunately there isn’t much you can do about it but wait. We’ve seen this particular issue occur with just about every social media app in existence; Instagram’s algorithmic feed, Snapchat’s scissors tool, and Facebook Messenger's rad set of women emoji, for example, were all announced first, and then distributed to users in waves. It can often take anywhere from a few days to a month or so for new updates to arrive for all users, though, so sometimes you just need to be patient. That very well might be the case with the most recent Snapchat redesign.
Before you resign yourself to just sitting around and twiddling your thumbs until you can access the new Snapchat, though, it’s worth considering the second possibility: Maybe you just need to update the app on your device. Using new social media features pretty much always requires having the most recent version of whatever app you’re using installed — and luckily, updating your phone is usually no more complicated than making a few well-placed taps. According to the iTunes App Store, the most recent version of Snapchat for iOS devices is version 10.25.0.0; it’s dated Feb. 5, 2018. For Android, meanwhile, the precise version varies depending on what brand or type of device you’re using; however, the most recent one in the Google Play Store is dated Jan. 30, 2018. (Since that’s about a week older than the current iOS version, you might want to check back within the next day or two to see if a new one has been rolled out.)
To update your app, all you usually need to do is go to whichever app store you use on your device and either check your updates tab, or simply search for the app by name. If there’s a new version available for download, you’ll be able to see it in either of those locations — and if you’ve got an update waiting, just go ahead and tap that “update” button.
And hey, if all else fails and you’ve been waiting for days, weeks, or even months to receive the update, you can always contact Snapchat Support. You might need to click through a few “What issue are you having?” options to troubleshoot the problem first, but eventually, you’ll be taken to a message field that will allow you to get in touch with Support directly.
The Snapchat redesign has actually received mixed reactions from users so far; however, a spokesperson for Snapchat tells Bustle in a statement, “Updates as big as this one can take a little getting used to, but we hope the community will enjoy it once they settle in.” And to be fair, that’s usually true. I mean, I remember when the Facebook News Feed debuted… oh, roughly 10 years ago — and when it dropped, there was a huge outcry of, “WHAT IS THIS?!”, “Why does this exist?!”, and “I don’t need to know what everyone I know is doing all the dang time!” (And yes, I was definitely among the outraged.) Now, though, it’s just… kind of the way Facebook is. Sure, the News Feed has its flaws, but not only have we all gotten used to it, but moreover, many of us can’t imagine Facebook without it now.
All of which is to say, this too shall pass. Before you know it, navigating the Snapchat redesign will be second nature to us all — and in the meantime, here are a few handy guides for learning how to use it.