Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) made waves early on Wednesday after the firm announced that it would be drastically changing its platform. In a sense, CEO Evan Spiegel plans to split the social and the media aspect of its platform. While some believe this is the right move for the company in the wake of “Fake News” and internet trolls, others still believe that Spiegel might not be suited to run this company.
This redesign was teased earlier this month in Snap’s most recent earnings call. Essentially it would make the app easier to use for older generations, while taking a page from the likes of Facebook and Twitter and their scrolling feeds.
While Facebook more or less took Snap’s story platform and copied it on Instagram, now it seems like Snap can take something back from the social media giant. CNBC described the redesign as follows:
On the redesigned app, users will swipe to the left of the main camera screen to see chats, stories and messages from their friends, and swipe to the right for news, Snap Map and publisher content. The new Discover page reorganizes news from a horizontal scroll to a vertical, in the vein of Facebook’s and Twitter’s seemingly endless feeds.
But while some are hailing this redesign as the new direction that social media needs to go, others would argue that the company is in need of new leadership. The stock is currently trading a couple dollars off its low and is still well below its IPO price. Another issue that some investors would point to is the fact that ordinary shareholders don’t have a vote in the company based on its structuring.
In a way, with this corporate structure it would be nearly impossible to elect new leadership, even considering Snap’s very poor stock performance. It seems the most that anyone could hope for would be some adult supervision for Spiegel.
Regardless of how investors feel about Spiegel, he does make a solid point:
The combination of social and media has yielded incredible business results, but has ultimately undermined our relationships with our friends and our relationships with the media.
The most recent U.S. election is proof of this divide, and many people were fed up seeing their Twitter or Facebook news feeds full of political content. It seems that most people just want to use these social media platforms to connect with their friends and family, and Spiegel’s move appears to be a return to simpler times before the politics.
Shares of Snap were last seen up about 1% at $13.48, with a consensus analyst price target of $12.74 and a post-IPO range of $11.28 to $29.44.