Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Views of Snap's redesign. Images via Snap

Snapchat is redesigning its app to separate media and social communications, making it easier to use and understand. CEO Evan Spiegel wrote an opinion piece for Axios Wednesday morning, saying that the separation takes "an important step forward towards strengthening our relationships with our friends and our relationships with the media."

Why it matters: Snapchat's last earnings showed slowed percentage of user growth for the fourth consecutive quarter. The company hopes a redesign will attract new users and engage current ones that may feel less inspired to post on Facebook and Instagram — rival platforms that rely on content recommendations from friends instead of algorithms and human curation tailored to individuals.

  • The redesign will begin to roll out to a small percentage of users later this week and will be available to all users on iOS and and Android globally in coming weeks. According to a Snap spokesperson, the entire redesign was done in-house.
  • The major design changes are centered around the separation of a "Discover" page on the right — which displays vetted publisher stories, stories from around the world, or stories from influencers or people you chose to follow that you don't know personally — and a "Friends" page on the left that features updates from your close friends and family. At the center is the "Send-to" homepage, or a navigation that starts with using its camera.
  • Newer features, like Maps and Bitmojis, will be more easily accessible within more places on the app.
  • Business and advertising products and operations will remain the same for the most part.

Snapchat will use algorithmic content recommendations, like Netflix, to help users discover new content, instead of relying on friends or large networks to elevate it to users through engagement (likes, comments, etc.) The content that users chose to follow will sit on top of the algorithmically-recommended content (curated stories, publisher stories and influencer stories/snaps).

  • You can expect dozens of signals to affect the recommendations to your Friends and Discover pages, most of which will be based on content or people you've already engaged with, according to a Snap spokesperson. Separating the signals by page means that the experience will be much more customizable.
  • Users will also now have a tool to easily hide anything they see in Discover that they don't like, which will help inform the tailored content.

Human curation and moderation of content is something the company is emphasizing heavily with this redesign. Unlike Facebook, which told Axios earlier this year that it's a technology company that doesn't hire journalists to moderate content, Snapchat says it will have a team of content programmers coming from editorial backgrounds to ensure "that each user sees a diverse mix of content formats, and be able to promote interesting or editorially important content to users."

Editor's Note: Get more stories like this by signing up for our daily tech newsletter, Login, and our weekly media newsletter, Axios Media Trends.

Go deeper

Updated 18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals early Wednesday, 11 hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to "drain the swamp."

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.