Snapchat update snatches away best friends

Snapchat update snatches away best friends

Daniela Karpenos, Web News Editor

Jan. 27 marked a day of horror for many avid Snapchatters. The app update brought about an unwelcome and unforeseen change—the disappearance of the infamous “Best Friends” list.

This list, updated weekly, displays the top three friends a user Snapchats the most frequently. According to Snapchat support, members of the list “are selected automatically by a magical Snapchat friendship algorithm.”

In response to the update, Snapchat received an overwhelming amount of backlash.

On Tuesday night, the hashtag “snapchatupdate” trended nationwide on Twitter. Reactions ranged from indifference to mild irritation to intense alarm.

Caspar Lee, a well-known “vlogger” on Youtube, turned to Twitter to joke about the hysteria surrounding the update.

Lee Tweeted: “OMG they got rid of viewing people’s best friends? How am I going to jump to conclusions about other people’s relationship now?”

All jokes aside, this feature has long been widely appreciated. Although seemingly trivial, it has been considered an integral part of Snapchat.

“We were all so used to [the feature],” Riley Thrush ’17 observed. “I think it threw everybody off when it just disappeared for no reason.”

To many, the list was a way of seeing where they stood with their peers.

“We all check up if our best friends have us as best friends too, who our boyfriends have, our crushes,” Thrush said. “It keeps you in the know of who your friends are talking to, in a chill way.”

Emma Rowe ’15 seconds the intrigue of viewing Snapchat best friends, noting that the elimination of the feature has enraged many of the app’s dedicated users.

“It’s fun to look at who people have as best friends because sometimes it’s controversial,” Rowe said. “It can strike up a fight if, for example, one of your friends is snapchatting someone you don’t like.”

However, not everyone was deeply distraught over the feature’s disappearance.

Ben Kanter ’16 found it invited unnecessary and unwelcome “stalking,” which he considered to be “creepy.”

“I don’t miss it,” Kanter said. “I also don’t like the new overall layout of the app.”

Aside from the elimination of the Best Friends list, Snapchat also launched “Discover.”

In a blog post, Snapchat explains that this new feature displays articles, videos, and photos personally selected by the network’s artists and editors and geared towards a younger target audience.

The days of a simple Snapchat seem to be long gone. Snapchat users must continue to adapt to change, whether for better or for worse.

Luckily, though, Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegal promises the swift return of the Best Friends list.

“We’ll bring back BFs soon,” Spiegal wrote in a Tweet, in response to the waves of criticism received. “A few higher-profile friends wanted to keep their usernames private—we’ll come up with a better way to do that.”

Until then, it looks like we’ll remain in the dark when it comes to keeping tabs on “bae.”