Social media platform, Snapchat, recently announced that it commenced the rollout of the rebuilt version of its Android application, and the company promises that the latest version of its Android app is much faster compared to earlier iterations of the software.
This rollout comes several weeks after Evan Spiegel, the CEO of Snap Inc., stated that the rebuilt app would be deployed by the end of the year. Initially, the company attempted to fix the flaws of its Android software by rolling out software updates that fix the bugs identified in the application. However, the app continued to perform poorly despite the regular deployment of software fixes, and the developers of the Snapchat application eventually recognized the need to rebuild the application from the ground up to enhance its performance.
Aside from reduced software bugs and smoother performance, users may not notice any major differences with the rebuilt Snapchat app once it rolls out, especially since the social media platform did not modify the user interface of the application. However, rebuilding its app will allow Snapchat to support the wide variety of devices that run the Android operating system as well as to deploy new software features at a much faster rate.
Snapchat has been repeatedly criticized in the past few years due to the mediocre performance of its Android application compared to its iOS counterpart. For example, previous versions of Snapchat's Android app takes a screenshot to create images rather than using the smartphone's camera, resulting in poor image quality despite the excellent shooters often found in Android smartphones.
Snapchat attributes the inferior performance of the Android application to its decision to invest more of its resources in developing its iOS app. However, the social media platform is currently struggling to gain more users as larger firms like Facebook started copying many of its features, and it hopes that improving its application should help boost its user numbers, especially in international markets where Android devices are more ubiquitous than Apple-manufactured smartphones.
Furthermore, Snapchat aims to target users in Asian countries like Indonesia, India, and the Philippines, and it is important for the company to release an application that uses less data and is more lightweight compared to earlier iterations to gain users in these areas.
Whether the updated version of the application will help Snapchat gain much-needed users remains to be seen, given that many of its features are already found in rival social media platforms. Snapchat seems to recognize that improving the app may not be sufficient, and it is trying out innovative ways of introducing itself to new and lapsed users. For example, the social networking service is collaborating with third-party developers to integrate Snapchat's features like stories, filters, and Bitmojis into other applications.
While Snapchat initially wanted to roll out its rebuilt Android app later in the year, it is apparent that the company may have to deploy the new software much earlier than scheduled so that the company can catch up to its rivals that continue to steal its users. For a social media platform to survive, it needs more active users to view the ads that run on its platform and enticing more Android users could help Snap reverse its fortunes and return to profitability.