Snapchat Just Made Life More Difficult for Bitmoji Users

One of the nicer elements of Snapchat is the ability to use the Snapcode as a kind of ghostly frame for your profile image. It's quirky, and it allows users to link directly to their profile whilst also giving people a glimpse of what they actually look like, but with the most recent update, that feature has became more limited.

Now, if you have a Bitmoji avatar, that automatically becomes your profile picture, and the Snapcode image option disappears. If you don't have an avatar, nothing changes, but if you do, the replacement is made automatically, with no visible option to reserve the change. Given how popular Bitmoji are on Snapchat, this will likely upset a great deal of people.

The biggest issue with this by far is that fact that despite the wide range of options, Bitmoji are still very basic looking. Users are struggling to tell each other apart, especially given that Snapchat names usually bear little to no relation to the person's actual given name. To make matters worse, many users have no backup of the image they used for their profile, so many photos are being lost for good. Even attempts to unlink Bitmoji from Snapchat have been unsuccessful in reversing the change.

Bitmoji is one of Snapchat's very few large scale acquisitions. They picked it up for $100 million last year, which does explain why they would be so intent on making it such a prevalent part of the platform, but forcing it on users like this is only going to cause issues. Snapchat really can't afford to upset its users right now; their IPO launch has catapulted them into financial turmoil, Instagram is gradually eclipsing them and their daily active user figures aren't growing quickly enough.

Snap have yet to comment on this controversy, but if they're clever, they'll reintroduce the option. Snap have never been minded to ignore what their users want, but a growing sense of desperation to boost the platform again might have changed their attitude. Time will tell.

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