Okay lets talk discover side — the cause of many a woe and problems for users and Snapchat. It started life as the third party hub and lived alone away from the social content on the far right. Due to poor usage rates it moved over to the stories page but lived under stories, then before stories to tempt users to discover more content amongst stories. Now its all jumbled in with user generated content, partner content, media outlet content and popular stories on the stories page, marginalising stories by people you care about to 20% of the screen real estate.
The reasoning: Discover is supposed to be the channel that brings in the most revenue via ads + partner content. Isolation in its own corner led to poor consumption but the integration causes cognitive overload and is a discovery nightmare for users.
The solution: Unbundle regular people (who just don’t follow you back 😢 and cast them back into the bowels of stories and grant us ignorance) and keep celebrity personalities (verified) separate on the discover side. This gives incentive to still come to the right side which is still only one swipe away and a natural motion in Snapchat’s UI.
Restructuring the discover side would be easy after unbundling friends stories over to the left side with chat. Verified accounts will go to the top (celebs, influencers, creators), then your subscriptions from the SnapStore below (content from partners), then the discover section which has trending content leads to the SnapStore which is the 1st panel in Discover.
The discover section is cut short to about 5 panels. These are the top 5 trending channels recommended for you which are featured outside the store.
Inside the store content is organised into categories which will help with discovery and allow users to really fine pick what they are looking for.
This leads to opportunities to monetise content, and open up the platform to more creators who can monetise their content rivaling YouTube and IGTV.
Imagine a miniseries updated daily that you can subscribe to for a fee or searching how-to videos from snap-chatters.
Bring back vertical stories, horizontal scrolling makes no sense on a psychological level, even discover content scrolls vertically, feeds have trained users to scroll up for more content; scrolling to the right atrophies the feed before you reach the end which is why users are engaging less with stories. It works for instagram because its not their main content feed and even then users don’t scroll that far through the carousel.
To not mess up the feng shui on the right side bring friends stories back to the left next to chat. This makes sense as this is the communication hub, users chat about stories evidenced by the swipe up to chat or long press to share the snap features so its a seamless transition to move between chat and stories in one swipe.
There is no need to distinguish between chats and group chats as they are conversations that happen in the same stream.
Also a Hail Mary for chronological stories? (wishful thinking, but it would be cool to choose between the two)