Lower than per week after The Wall St. Journal reported on how a Snapchat characteristic dubbed “photo voltaic system” was including to teenagers’ nervousness, the corporate has responded by adjusting how the characteristic works. The rating system for paid subscribers right now reveals you ways shut you’re to your Snapchat pals by displaying your place of their photo voltaic system. For instance, a good friend within the “Mercury” place can be somebody you talk with quite a bit, whereas “Uranus” can be somebody not as shut.

After all, on-line chatting doesn’t essentially correlate to real-world relationships, and such a characteristic can result in damage emotions when somebody realizes that they’re not as near a good friend as they thought.

Snap says it has obtained suggestions that it could really feel good to know you’re near somebody however it could additionally really feel unhealthy to know you aren’t as shut as you’d wish to be.

“We’ve heard and perceive that the Photo voltaic System could make that feeling worse, and we wish to keep away from that,” the corporate introduced in a submit on its newsroom on Friday.

Nonetheless, as an alternative of eradicating the characteristic, because it did with the damaging and controversial pace filter, which it was sued over for “negligent design,” Snap is solely turning the Photo voltaic System characteristic off by default. Snapchat+ subscribers will nonetheless be capable to flip the choice on in the event that they select.

“We hope this strikes the fitting steadiness between offering a characteristic that’s desired by many who use it whereas avoiding upsetting those that don’t wish to use it,” the corporate explains.

Turning it off by default might present some friction, but when the characteristic is already in demand amongst teenagers, then they’ll merely dig round to seek out the setting to show it again on.

Snap argues that Photo voltaic System just isn’t that well-liked, noting that lower than 0.25% of the neighborhood makes use of the choice. However because it’s solely obtainable to paid subscribers, the small proportion isn’t a surprise. A extra related stat can be what number of Snapchat+ customers have used Photo voltaic System or seen the characteristic.

Though customers can’t see who’s nearer or additional away from the good friend as they’re, discovering out they’re not primary has led to some powerful conversations, The WSJ reported, even breakups.

Snap defends the characteristic by saying that individuals needed to know extra about their friendships and options like Photo voltaic System present “extra consciousness and context.” However in actuality, it’s a approach to maintain younger individuals — a demographic the place social hierarchy is essential — hooked on utilizing Snapchat.

The Photo voltaic System characteristic was solely certainly one of Snapchat’s good friend rating techniques. It additionally gives a personal characteristic referred to as “Finest Buddies” that places the individuals with whom you talk most on the prime of your contact listing, together with a coronary heart or smiley emoji, The WSJ identified.

One other much-debated characteristic referred to as “Streaks” is a device that Snapchat customers to encourage repeated use of its app by providing a visible illustration of what number of consecutive days customers have stayed in contact with each other on the app. After a lot backlash from parents and families, lawmakers, and regulators alike over the feature’s addictive nature and psychological harms, Snap final yr launched a approach to pause your streaks. It additionally added a means for customers to revive a misplaced Streak.

Whereas Snap guarantees in its weblog submit that it’s “dedicated to mitigating the potential downsides of on-line communication wherever doable,” it has deliberately constructed options and instruments which have at the least left it open to lawsuits and Congressional inquiry, if not worse.