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Snapchat’s mistake spells a valuable lesson for us

It is time to talk about it, that elephant in the room, the fact that we only use snapchat for geo-tag for 21st birthdays and replying that 20 friend that still uses it.

We all know Snapchat is slowing ending up on the second or third page of our apps folder or home screen, and the reason is that we hate the redesign. The redesign just made it harder for our to see our friends’ update on their social media identity they’ve carefully crafted, and instead, we are bombarded with ads and news and other ‘famous’ people we didn’t sign up to see.

So why am I blabbering about our (my) disgust for snapchat? There is a reason.

There is a lesson here, just like a Disney movie, there’s a point of all this. Stay with me on this.

A snapshot of Snapchat’s journey

But let’s start talking about Snapchat’s slow disappearance from our daily routine or actual numbers to show that they are shrivelling up.

Shares have dropped in the first quarter, TechCrunch reported a drop of 15 percent in after-hours trading. On top of that, they experienced the lowest growth rate in the latest quarter. Most importantly, Kylie Jenner hates it, and she was their biggest advocate before. Also, she declared her dislike on twitter, not Snapchat.

All this is caused by the redesign of their app, where they try to keep the stories from friends separated from the other stuff. But we can safely say that it is not working out very well, and it is going downhill.

Plus copycats are out to kill when their competitor is down, with Instagram story and WhatsApp status out there to try and steal the crown away, Snapchat is in a very vulnerable position. WhatsApp stories have exploded in the international market with over 450 million users now, and Instagram story is gaining more daily users as well.

This doesn’t give much confidence to investors as well when they look like a trapeze artist over a pool of sharks. Major red flags with falling shares and slow growth and strong competitors.

Funny enough for a company that is built for their consumers, they didn’t listen and was pretty adamant about their decision saying that it will see stability and the disruption is part of it.

This story is literally a reflection of Beyonce’s Listen, where the consumers are telling Snapchat to listen,

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” class=”” width=””]

“And I tried and tried to say what’s on my mind

You should have known

Oh, now I’m done believin’ you

You don’t know what I’m feelin’”[/box]

Kudos for sticking with your plan, but the facts have finally rolled in, and it did not look pretty at all.

But alas, they did it, they listened maybe not to the consumers but to the numbers.

According to TechCrunch, CEO Evan Spiegel said:

“We learned that combining watching Stories and communicating with friends into the same place made it harder to optimise for both competing behaviours. We are currently rolling out an update to address this by sorting communication by recency and moving Stories from friends to the right side of the application while maintaining the structural changes we have made around separating friends from creators and sorting friends’ Stories by relationships.”

The lesson

So here’s the thing we as start-ups can learn from the failure of big companies, we have to listen.

Our customer’s feedback is actually so crucial for us to take note of. I mean, ultimately the customers are our source of revenue. Be it the different stakeholders; we have to take into consideration of what they are thinking. Only with that, we can grow a strong customer base and brand loyalty.

Also, listening shows that you care, and creating an intimate relationship with your stakeholder is pretty vital.

I mean we know that right? All the mentors and blogs would have probably told you that customer validation is key, if they don’t like it, they won’t consume it.

Like pilot fishes to the sharks, we learn from the mistakes that big companies make, and hopefully try to avoid it. So I guess we can say thank you to snapchat for showing us what not to do.

There is no issue with redesigning, but it needs to be taken with caution maybe with a smaller scope because changing a curated behaviour can be disruptive in a bad way. Hence, having a deep customer validation research before launch can make or break your startup.

But not all is down the drain, Snapchat is listening, and we shall see where it will go for them, while they still sticking with their idea of changing it, they are taking a different approach now.

All we can do it sit and wait with our popcorn to see what the sequel is going to be like. And sequels usually fail.

QuickSafety raises $400,000 in seed funding to save Australian lives.
Snapchat’s mistake spells a valuable lesson for us
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QuickSafety raises $400,000 in seed funding to save Australian lives.