Snapchat is finally giving additional analytic support to its most popular users, giving an “Insights” feature to its Official Stories creator community.
Currently, the company will give its verified creators information on total and unique views, completion rates, time watched and audience demographics, interests and geographic data, which these influencers will be able to use to obtain brand sponsorships on their own.
“We have historically neglected the creator community on Snapchat that creates and distributes public Stories for the broader Snapchat audience,” Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel said during the company’s Q3 earnings call in 2017. “Developing this ecosystem will allow artists to transition more easily from communicating with friends to creating Stories for a broader audience, monetizing their Stories and potentially using our professional tools to create premium content.”
As its platform stands now, Snapchat offers no official options for these verified influencers to partner with brands on its platform, either through sponsored or joint posts, meaning that the company will not see any direct revenue from empowered influencers.
The influencer tools are just one more effort by the social media company to take a loss-leader approach to consumer and marketer audience building. On Tuesday, Snapchat offered advertisers who had purchased video ads from its competitors free ad credits on its platform.
With the price of Facebook ads soaring year over year, the “ghost” is ready to swoop in with a tempting offer for those who have never tried Snap Ads. Mobile or social marketers who can provide proof of vertical ads purchased in the past three months can apply to receive credits to use toward their first Snapchat campaign. The credits would be worth “several hundreds of dollars with no minimum spending requirements,” a source told Recode.
The company has made considerable changes to attract marketers in recent months, including tools for app developers and new tracking features. Snapchat also announced Lens Studio in December—a tool that allows brands to design and distribute their own AR activations. Advertising revenue for Snapchat grew 38 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017. Meanwhile, price per impression fell 25 percent over the third quarter.
The timing of Snap’s current credit offer may be fortuitous. EMarketer just revealed that teenagers are losing interest in Facebook—a demographic traditionally attracted to Snapchat.
“Brands should know that there’s a highly unduplicated, extremely engaged young audience on Snap that is 13-to-34 years old,” Marni Schapiro, director of sales at Snap told AListDaily in a recent interview. People under the age of 25 use Snapchat for 40 minutes on average every day. You won’t find these users in the places you used to find them.”
Teenage users of Snapchat were less than thrilled with the app’s recent overhaul, however. Distaste for the new app design has resulted in an online petition to revert back to its old design. The plea to Snapchat has earned over 650,000 signatures to date.
Snap’s move to woo marketers away from its biggest competitors isn’t the only way to qualify for free advertising. A program called Snap Accelerate already gives special deals to startups that want to advertise on Snapchat, as well.
Snapchat was famous for vertical video messages and augmented reality filters until Instagram introduced Stories and AR. That’s not to say Snap hasn’t borrowed its fair share of features, but as a publicly-traded company, the disappearing-message app is feeling even more pressure to produce results.
While its user base is growing, Snapchat trails far behind its biggest competitor Instagram. The two social networks are expected to reach 86.5 million and 104.7 million users respectively in 2018.