Snapchat is fighting Instagram for celebrity users

Will a redesign help woo new Snapchat users?
Will a redesign help woo new Snapchat users?

Snapchat is finally sharing analytics with its most high-profile users as it steps up efforts to compete with Instagram.

Parent company Snap (SNAP) on Wednesday announced it will give users such as celebrities and so-called social media influencers more data about how their posts are performing.

The data will include total Story views and the time Snapchat users spent watching posts. Snapchat will also provide gender and geographic breakdowns.

Previously, celebrities and influencers could only see total views for a current Story on Snapchat, a metric to which all users have access. Stories are photos and videos shared by users that disappear after 24 hours.

Brands are less likely to partner with influencers on campaigns if they don't have access to detailed data. Without such information, brands can only know how many people their messages have reached, but not whether they've been seen by the kinds of people they're targeting. For instance, a makeup company looking to add younger customers will want to know that when they pay a particular celebrity to promote their makeup, millenial women see the Story.

snapchat analytics

Instagram, which is owned by Facebook (FB), has offered data -- similar to what Snapchat will now provide -- to businesses and accounts with high levels of engagement since May 2016.

Related: As Facebook stumbles, Twitter and Snapchat show new life

The move is likely an effort by Snapchat to appeal to social media stars who have migrated to Instagram.

"This is all part of a broader strategy to take dead aim at Instagram in hopes of gaining market and mind share with the celebrity and their heavy [amount of] followers," said Daniel Ives, chief strategy officer and head of technology research at GBH Insights.

Top creators posted more content to Instagram Stories than Snapchat Stories during the fourth quarter, according to a report from social media analytics platform Captiv8.

Snapchat's move "levels the playing field," said Ryan Detert, the CEO of Influential, an AI-enabled influencer marketing platform.

"If the individual creators are not monetizing their time and efforts, they'll go to different platforms, Detert said.

Related: Snapchat faces backlash after app redesign

Snapchat also recently unveiled a redesign of its platform that has sparked criticism from many users.

The app, which is popular with teens and millenials, previously featured content from friends, publishers and celebrities all on one page. Now, there's a designated page for friends and a separate page for publishers.

Ives believes the redesign was necessary to attract more users and advertisers. The app was previously criticized for being too difficult to use.

"Snapchat is trying to pivot," Ives said. "The app redesign, celebrity metrics transparency and a myriad of other engagement and advertising initiatives are key to the turnaround story being successful."

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