In what is without a doubt its biggest redesign yet, Snapchat is making a clear distinction between two previously merged parts of the app:
Social and media. Your close friends and family get one section, while everything from celebs, brands, and publishers gets another. The distinction between the two types of content promises to make the app easier to navigate. Plus, it seems far simpler to keep track of conversations and Snaps with those in your inner circle.
Ahead, a breakdown of everything to know about using the redesigned Snapchat as it starts rolling out to Android and iOS later this week.
The Friend Page This is your new friend and family hub, where all your interactions — chats and Stories — with groups and individual people live. In order for someone to be in this section, and not the media section, they'll need to follow you back. When a friend has a current Story, you'll see a Story thumbnail to the left of their name, rather than their Bitmoji. New Snaps and chats appear at the top, then anyone that you've chatted or Snapped with recently, then everyone else. For every Group Chat, you'll be able to create a Group Story that any of your friends in the group can view and add Snaps to. The Bitmoji of the member who most recently sent a message to the group appears in the thumbnail.
Viewing Stories To start viewing Stories, tap a Story thumbnail next to a friend's name. When that person's Story is done, you'll see a new "up next" screen — think of this as your preview of what's to come. If you don't want to watch the upcoming Story, swipe up and you'll skip to the next Story preview. If you do want to watch it, tap the thumbnail. To rewatch someone's Story, simply tap and hold a friend's name on the Profile Page.
Sending Stories The "send to" page is keeping many of the same elements it had previously, but is now easier to use. Instead of one long list of names, you'll see separate sections of people and places where you can send and add your Snap. At the top of the screen are thumbnails representing the different kinds of Stories. Tap one of these to add your Snap to your own My Story or a Group Story, or, to contribute your Snap to the public Our Stories feed. Anyone with a public account will also see an option to add their Snap to a friends-only My Story or a public My Story. To change your privacy settings, tap the gear icon in your Profile, and under "View My Story" select "everyone" or "my friends." Below Stories, are your best friends, the people you interact with the most. You can have up to eight best friends on Snapchat. Below that, are people you communicated with recently, and then everyone else. Like before, simply tap an individual name to send your Snap to that person.
The Discover Page Your Friend Page is for close friends, but Discover is for everyone else. Unlike the list of names on the Friend Page, Discover is all visual with various tiles representing brand and Publisher Stories, Our Stories, and Snap Map Stories and even original shows. Celebs and public figures will show up here as "Official Stories," while influencers who pass a certain threshold of viewers and engagement can appear as "Popular Stories." For an Official or Popular Story to appear in your Discover feed, it needs to first be approved by an on-staff Snapchat moderator. Press and hold on a tile to subscribe to a publisher or brand's content or to indicate you'd prefer not to see it again. Although an algorithm is intended to feed you content based on your interests — indicated by what you regularly watch and interact with — expect to see new kinds of Stories mixed in, too.
The Profile Page To get to your profile from the main camera screen, tap your Bitmoji or Story thumbnail in the upper lefthand corner. The formatting on the Profile Page is slightly different, but the primary change is that the Page is now a place to manage your current Story. You can view your Story here, save it to your Memories, and swipe up on your Story to see who viewed it so far. Think of your Profile Page as your Story HQ.