Snapchat & The Lame Ass Mea Culpa

Image of Snapchat ghost logo against a background of an angry mob of characters from "The Simpsons"

Foxie Rating - 2 stars - Bad
Snapchat’s App Store rating took a kamikaze nosedive this week…

Due to an app update on Tuesday that removed functionality via which teens could see who were their friend’s “best friends” on Snapchat — a.k.a the top three people their friends snapped with the most.

Screenshot within the Snapchat app, showing the best friends of a user's friend named rosetaughtyou

In a little over 24 hours, the update generated over 5,000 new customer reviews in the App Store, the gross majority of them 1-star ratings.

And at the time of this writing, that number is inching its way toward 9,000 reviews.

Screenshot of Snapchat's rating for the current version, which shows that most of the 8,716 ratings are one-star

Screenshot of three App Store customer reviews of the Snapchat update, all three are on-star and complain about the absence of "best friends" scores and being able to easily find and access other high-use features.

The negative reviews are piling up on Google Play as well.

Screenshot of two Google Play reviews of the Snapchat app update, both 1-star reviews expressing teir displeasure with the new update. One user, Alfredo Hernnandez writes, "I hate the update!! I can't see my best friends or my girlfreinds best friends and i dont like it... uninstalling and so is my girl if this ain't fixed back."


Seeing how a new episode of Scandal premieres tonight, one can’t help but wonder:

What would Olivia Pope do?

How would social media’s favorite Fix-It woman handle an avalanche of pissed off reviews from the millennial demographic that makes Snapchat oh so attractive to marketers in the first place?

Well, I can tell you what she would NOT have done.

She would not have revealed just how elitist Snapchat’s priorities are, which is exactly what Snapchat CEO, Evan Spiegel, did when he took to Twitter not long after the negative reviews started snowballing in:

Evan Spiegel tweeted on Jan 27: "We'll bring back BFs soon. A few higher-profile friends wanted to keep their usernames private - we'll come up with a better way to do that."

Um, whaa?

So despite having more than 100 million active monthly users, Team Snapchat removed a feature due to the privacy desires of a “few higher-profile” people.

Does Spiegel realize he just publicly admitted, to a bunch of pissed off teens, that he has no qualms about catering to the 1-percent?

@gianaleo reply to Evan Spiegal: @evanspiegel So you care more about the couple of 'high profile' people that use the app as opposed to the millions of the rest of us?

@midnight reply to Evan Spiegel's tweet: A FEW wanted that vs the entire world wanting the best friend option wtf kind of consumer pleasing CEO are you

Not to mention the lack of a definitive ETA on when the Best Friends feature will be restored.

“Soon” is incredibly vague. Ridiculously so. Especially in light of the fact that many users are on the cusp of outright deleting the app in protest.

All in all, Spiegel’s tweet comes across as:

We’ll bring back BFs once we figure out how to ensure the privacy of a few celebs. No ETA on that.
Spiegel outtie like an Audi.

It’s obvious that young Spiegel needs to take a lesson from Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, who issued one of the best corporate mea culpas back in 2011, starting with the words:

I messed up.

Still, All Is Not Quiet on the Store Front

From the looks of things in the App Store and on Google Play, most of Snapchat’s rabid consumer base has NO IDEA that their beloved Best Friends will be making a comeback…

Because Spiegel’s tweet, and Snapchat official’s subsequent retweet, can not even begin to reach the millions of Snapchat users who are not on Twitter.

It would behoove Team Snapchat to spread the message far and wide that resurrecting Best Friends with privacy options is priority número uno for the team and that users can expect an update by <insert date>.

A few ways in which they can achieve this include:

  • Updating the description on the App Store and Google Play pages for the app;
  • Adding a Story in the app itself, which would show up on the Story feed for all users;
  • Sending out a push notification to all users; and
  • Posting an update on their Facebook page, which boasts more than 4.5 million likes, despite the fact that it’s been defunct since 2013 — smh! The abandoned Facebook page boasts 8 times as many followers as Speigel’s and Snapchat’s Twitter following combined.