There's a story today about Snap finally seeing some growth after releasing a completely rebuild Android app. For years the Snapchat app on Android has performed poorly and kept many back from using it. Yet it took the company years before they decided to act on it. How did it ever get to that point?
In the past CEO Evan Spiegel allegedly made comments that “This app is only for rich people. I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain.” Which basically explains it all. Android is the OS of the masses, there are many premium Android devices sure, but the vast majority of people use mid to low range devices. If an app is only for rich people, of course, it will ignore its less wealthy users.
Now Snap needs them.
Which makes me think about how many services are built similarly. As developers, you test apps and websites on the best devices. You assume that everyone has a great network connection. It's only when it becomes a clear and obvious limiting factor that we put more attention to these issues. It also makes me consider what other factors we ignore that could make products available and usable to more people. Maybe there are issues we've never even considered because they're so alien to us.
It's difficult to make a product that works for everyone but it's important to avoid that disdain Snap initially had for poorer potential users. Or you might end up with a shitty app that needs to be rebuilt because you didn't care enough when it would've been an easier task.