Snapchat, the app that lets you send pics and videos that self-destruct, has just released a huge update to version 5.0 “Banquo” (I’ll get to that in a minute), which includes a dramatic revamp of the app’s UI.
The update also brings with it a few new features, like the ability to double-tap to reply, in-app profiles, and better tools for adding friends.
The UI is finally worthy of its growing user base, with swipe navigation leading you from the camera, your inbox, your friends, and a way to add new friends or search for users. The inbox is oddly unchanged, though the camera panel is much more beautiful, doing away with all the blue bubblies and going for something a bit more transparent.
Speaking of mobile photography, Snapchat released an enormous update — version 5.0 — last night.
Although I frequently joke about Snapchat on Twitter, it's actually an extremely enjoyable app to use. The latest update removes a lot of design flaws that were poisonous to the UI and usage of the app, replacing them with a fun, clean, and modern aesthetic.
In other words, the 5.0 update achieves what all apps should with large updates: it encourages me to re-engage and actively seek to use it more frequently.
Snapchat doesn't seem to have gained much traction in the core technology community, but, outside of it, I rarely come across a friend who hasn't used it on a regular basis. From fleeting shots of lunch to videos sharing concert experiences, Snapchat has quickly found its way into my daily life in a truly good way.
Unlike Vine — an app I continue to struggle to find a place for in my social life — Snapchat simply makes sense. Even Jack Dorsey took to Twitter to endorse the re-design last night.
If you haven't experimented with the app yet, I urge you to do so. It's a lot of fun and lacks the self-inflicted seriousness of a great many other social apps.
You simply send photos and videos back and forth with little other thought, thereby creating an environment in which you need not worry about the filters layered over your experiences, but simply just focus on sharing the experience in their rawest possible form. It's definably mobile, contemporary, and inconsequential — not just an app for sexting after all.
Perhaps most importantly, with the rise of Snapchat there's been a marked drop in inane photos of food on Instagram. Instead, such pointless pieces of ephemera have graduated into an app built exclusively for such shared moments. And that's an utterly welcome development.