Stop me if you’ve heard this before — a popular app gets a major update, and people get upset. There’s always a subset of users annoyed after an app is revamped, but the blowback to Pocket Casts v7 has definitely been extreme over the past few days.
If you’re not familiar with it, Pocket Casts is a popular cross-platform podcast application. Version 7.0 was released earlier this month, and was nearly a complete redesign. A bottom bar was added for easier navigation, the playback screen was revamped, and dozens of new features were added. However, it also contains some regressions.
Going by public reaction, the main point of contention seems to be the removal of custom playlists, which was an intentional decision. The ability to select multiple episodes — usually to download them all at once, or flagged them as played — is also gone. The update also removes the ability to create custom podcasts from local MP3 files.
The frustration by users has been amplified by the seemingly sarcastic/dismissive replies that initially came from the Pocket Casts Twitter account. Imitating an angsty teenager often works well for brand accounts (see: Wendy’s), but it’s not a good strategy when dealing with legitimate complaints from paying customers. The team appears to have learned that lesson, as more recent replies are far more professional.
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