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Snapchat update snatches away best friends

Snapchat update snatches away best friends

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.”


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About the Contributor
Daniela Karpenos
Daniela Karpenos, Web News Editor
Daniela Karpenos ’15, a dedicated member to Inklings, is not just an important part of the paper, but she is also very educated in the field of psychology. When Karpenos isn’t playing Tennis for Trumbull or the Wreckers, or organizing charity events for her temple youth board, or speaking Russian with her twin, or fulfilling her duties as Web News Editor of Inklings, she is working hard to become a well-studied psychology student. Karpenos has worked on Inklings for three years, and her senior year marks her first position on the paper. She took the Intro to Journalism class in freshman year and has been on the paper from sophomore all the way to senior year. She has progressively gotten more involved, as she started taking photos freshman year and worked her way up to a News Editor position this year. Karpenos is also passionate about psychology. She plans to major in Clinical Psychology when she goes to college. In the summer of 2014 she interned at the Yale Child Studies Center where she was entering and validating data. She also participated in an ongoing study about A.D.D. where Yale is attempting to develop a game that would help kids with A.D.D. focus better. In the summer of 2013, she went to the Yale Explo -- where she worked on her creative writing and studied psychology. It is clear that Karpenos is a dedicated learner and when asked about her career choices she said she wanted to pursue psychology and, “Although I don’t see myself in a journalism career I definitely will use skills I’ve developed here.”