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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

Food delivery "ghost kitchens" face major obstacles

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The growing popularity of food delivery has given rise to startups that open "ghost kitchens" — kitchens in warehouses or trailers that prepare food solely for delivery and have no option to dine in.

  • But they can come with a whole host of problems.

The big picture: The concept of "ghost kitchens" has been dubbed the next big thing in the future of services, with high profile backers like Uber founder Travis Kalanick. But these kitchens can be hard to run or unsafe.

3 hours ago - Health

Federal judge blocks Biden vaccine mandate for health workers

President Biden delivers remarks on the Omicron COVID-19 variant at the White House on Nov. 29. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate for health care workers at federally funded facilities nationwide.

The big picture: The order comes one day after a federal judge in Missouri halted the mandate, which has a Jan. 4 deadline, in 10 states.

CNN suspends Chris Cuomo indefinitely

Chris Cuomo in 2019. Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for THR

CNN announced Tuesday evening that it has suspended anchor Chris Cuomo indefinitely following new revelations about his involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Driving the news: New documents released Monday showed that Cuomo used his contacts to garner information about the women accusing his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, of sexual harassment, as well as of emerging media coverage relating to the scandal.