In a world of millennials dependent on their iPhones and communication, social media platforms are constantly evolving to attract more users and give themselves an edge over their competition.
In November, Snapchat CEO Evan Speigel announced that the app was working on a major redesign to attract new users. This past week, the redesigned app was rolled out to 40 million users. In this update, Snapchat Stories, which are photos and videos shared that disappear after 24 hours, are mixed in with direct messages and individual snaps.
In the past, Snapchat has made quality improvements that have been widely praised, but this update has not had the same reaction. There has already been a Change.org petition asking for the company to remove the new update, and it has 590,000 signatures. Snapchat has 187 million daily active users- for many, it is a primary method of communication.
Assessing Snapchat’s update from a quality management perspective demonstrates significant flaws in the new system. The first aspect of total quality management (TQM) is customer satisfaction. Given the large number of social media platforms, customer satisfaction is crucial for Snapchat to maintain its user base. After the roll out of this new update, many millennials voiced their frustration and possibility of using alternative platforms; “I might start using Instagram stories now,” said a 21-year old Snapchat user who is a senior at University of Maryland. In addition, the app has dropped to a 1.9 out of 5-star rating on Apple’s App Store.
Another issue users have with Snapchat is not just the update itself, but how Snapchat unveiled it. Instead of releasing the changes as a formal update that users could opt to download, Snapchat quietly rolled out the changes. For many, their phones automatically updated the app, surprising users with the new platform. Historically, social media users have been resistant to change. For example, Facebook faced similar flashback in after its 2008 website redesign. Knowing this, it is surprising Snapchat chose to unveil their update in this manner.
To improve customer satisfaction and ensure quality management, Snapchat must stress continuous improvement of its flagship app. Failure to do so could lead to serious external failure costs and loss of users.