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After taking a hands-off approach to creators on its platform, Snapchat is making overtures by offering more insight into the audiences they have cultivated.
The app’s parent company, Snap, announced Wednesday that it will begin sharing analytics with creators who have large followings or operate accounts that broadcast curated feeds, known as Stories, to the public. Tens of thousands of users will now have access to data including total Story views, time spent viewing Stories, daily reach metrics and audience demographics.
Snapchat needs the support of these creators more than ever before. It has been in the process of rolling out a redesigned app that, by separating content created by friends and family from professionally produced content, is meant to make Snapchat more accessible to a broader audience. But the update, which is now available in the U.S., has drawn criticism from users. A Change.org petition requesting that Snapchat revert back to its old design has amassed more than 860,000 signatures.
If public figures get on board with the changes, that may help keep users from abandoning the service.
“I have been dreaming of these analytics for years,” says Shaun McBride, aka Shonduras, one of the first creators to draw an audience on Snapchat. The Internet personality, known for his drawings, has been testing Snapchat’s new analytics and he says that they have helped him “create content that is better served for my Snap audience.”
He adds, “I will be the first to admit I was done with Snapchat and fell away last year, but this is the change that both creators and brands needed to get back on board.”
While YouTube and Facebook have actively courted online creators, Internet personalities and other public figures to their platforms, Snapchat long did little to encourage those users to build audiences on its app. Late last year, as part of CEO Evan Spiegel’s planned update to Snapchat, the company said that it would build monetization and distribution options that would encourage creators to continue to use the app.
Snapchat has 187 million daily active users. The company added 8.9 million users during the fourth quarter of 2017 after several quarters of declining user growth rates. It was a sign for many Wall Street investors that the company’s efforts to grow its audience are starting to take effect.
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