Snap lures influencers with new analytics tools for Stories
As Snapchat users continue to sign online petitions and retweet desperate pleas for the company to walk back its redesign, the company is looking to make amends with one important group of users: influencers.
No, even Snapchat’s most popular accounts are stuck with the unpopular new design, but Snap is giving them something they’ve been clamoring for for years: analytics tools that provide detailed insights into their audience on the platform.
Beginning Wednesday, the company is rolling out a new “insights” feature that allows verified accounts and other influential users to see detailed stats about their followers. The stats include demographic information, like age and locations, as well as contextual details comparing their followers to others on Snapchat.
The update marks the first time Snap — which until recently made few concessions to the influencers other social media platforms court — has made these types of details widely available.
But the update comes at a time when many Snapchat users are more frustrated than ever with the company. The app’s long-awaited redesign recently began rolling out more widely and it’s proved to be wildly unpopular — earning more than 171,000 1-star reviews in the App Store over the last month, according to App Annie.
One of the main complaints, by the way, is that users have seen their Story views drastically plummet since the redesign went live. Because Snapchat has removed the “Stories” page and sorts friends algorithmically instead of chronologically, people are finding that their Stories have less visibility overall.
after the snapchat update my story views has gone down by 1k.
thanks snapchaaaat – people who added me to follow my story can’t even find my story anymore 🙂
— Proxyfox (@ProxyfoxLoL) February 9, 2018
y’all can’t tell me the new snapchat update didn’t kill stories. i posted on my story and literally got half the views i did before the update.
— macy pj (@macythewizard) February 13, 2018
My views on my Snapchat story are at an all time low. I’m really done with it
— Susie (@_susiecw) February 8, 2018
Snap, for its part, says this is intentional. The new algorithm is meant to make it easier for people to see the friends they communicate with the most, not just those who have posted to their Story most recently.
If you’re a brand or influencer with a verified account, however, your Stories now appear in a dedicated space in the “Discover” section of the app that used to be reserved exclusively for publishers.
While meant to be a positive change for Snapchat’s high-profile users, it’s also had a mixed reception. Influential users like Kylie Jenner, Chrissy Teigen, and MKBHD have all expressed frustration with the new design.
Still, it hasn’t been bad news for everyone. Some people say the new design has actually had a positive effect on Story views. Nick Cicero, CEO of analytics company Delmondo, says he’s seen an increase in engagement for both Discover publishers and verified accounts since the redesign.
And while it may be too soon to discern a wider trend, he notes that Nascar’s account alone has seen an an 80 percent spike in Stories views since the redesign, compared with the end of 2017.
Giving these types of accounts access to analytics could help them grow their reach even more. It could also help open up new opportunities for those who want to monetize their accounts — another longtime complaint for Snapchat influencers.
But, with such a strong backlash against the redesign, the more important question is whether tools like this will be enough to persuade Snapchat’s most popular users to stick around long enough to find out.