Introducing Snapchat Insights, our best update yet

Introducing Snapchat Insights, our best update yet

Snapchat Insights is here and you won’t understand how you operated without it before.

Here are some pretty breathtaking numbers about Snapchat:

  1. Over 100 million daily users (Bloomberg)
  2. More than 400 million Snaps shared every day (Mashable)
  3. 73% of Snapchat users are the valuable millennial demographic (Business Insider)

And yet, Snapchat is lacking one key feature: Checking out how the competition and the industry as a whole is doing. On Facebook, Likes, Shares and Comments are easily located. Same thing for Instagram, Twitter – heck most other social media as well. However worry not because we at Snaplytics have come up with a solution to your dilemma.

Welcome to the future of metrics: Snapchat Insights

We are proud to introduce Insights, a tool that will help you understand how your industry and other Snapchat accounts using Snaplytics are performing. No matter what industry you are in, this tool will become part of your daily routine.

Want to know how many opens other brands in broadcasting & entertainment are doing? We have answers. Curious as if to others are getting more screenshots of their content? We also have the answers to that. Do you ponder if your Stories or Snaps are too long and would like to know what is the industry norm? Believe it or not, we also have the answer to this. Insights is what Robin is to Batman, we are there when you most need us. Now you don’t have to post Stories without knowing what works best, or if you want to stand out and do things in a different way then Insights is also the way to go.

Snapchat Insights

Insights is available to all Snaplytics customers and offers a level of detail in your metrics that you had never seen before on Snapchat. Join Snaplytics today and don’t use Snapchat with your eyes closed, stand out on Snapchat with Insights.

Followers on Snapchat are watching less of your content

Followers on Snapchat are watching less of your content

With the autoplay update to Snapchat, the percent of users watching your video’s in full plummeted. Instead they tap within the first 25% of the snap, leaving your message unconveyed. Some of the effect can be mitigated by shorter and more frequent updates and a keen focus on consistent great content making you the top choice to start with.

Perhaps one of the most revealing data points Snaplytics can provide is the tap rate, basically this percentage showcases how many of your viewers views the full story without tapping. This can often be an indication of whether your stories are engaging – low tap rates translate into an uninterested audience while high rates portray commitment to watching it through. The latest Snapchat update, which we discussed in a previous blog post, impacted how users behave within the app in more ways than one. Retention rate, the number of users watching all the Snaps in stories dropped 5% but the number of first open increased at the same time offsetting much of the effect. On this instance we will explain how tap rate changed with the latest update.

What was the update about?

Apart from a range of additional features, Snapchat also changed on a technical level by making stories under your Recent Updates section autoplay the next after you’re done with one. Previously, users would have to manually click through the different stories, allowing them to choose which one they watched next. According to this article by Digiday this may be the beginning of a transition towards something bigger… an algorithm sorting and prioritizing the story feed (and likely introduce adds in between). But, back to the tap rates.

How did we think the stats changed?

Discussions on Snapchat metrics in our office, which are plentiful, concluded with the idea that the update would increase tap rate. Why? Because users would reject the app forcing them to watch the following story and therefore skip faster. We also took into consideration the data from the previous blog on retention rate which showed a noticeable decrease but an increase in the overall number of views on the first Snap. We also figured that because of the update it is also easier to “clean out” the Recent Updates section, you would just have to tap through very fast while not noticing what story you were watching.

Here’s what actually happened

So the Snaplytics team was both wrong and right on our assumptions. Crunching the data(1) revealed not much changed for the first 3 to 5 snaps in a story – but then the drop comes with a vengeance.

We are talking an average drop of 36% from the 4th snap an onwards, clearly indicating force feeding content to followers may not be that great an idea, if you want to increase the duration you have the eyeballs on your message.

It may not be all bad, if users are tapping in the last second of the snap – let’s investigate.

Users are staying around for shorter periods of time within your Snaps

Another question we wanted answered was when, within the story, do users tap. With the update, it was possible that users were tapping fast and rapidly just to clean up the story feed. However the chance of them wanting to see what the new story was, and therefore sticking around longer, also real.

Basically you can either tap or view the full video. If you tap, we measured in quartiles:

  • 1st Quartile: First 25% of the Snap
    (i.e. within the first 2,5 second for a 10 second video)
  • 2nd Quartile: 25%-50% of the Snap
    (i.e. betweeh 2,5 and 5 seconds for a 10 second video)
  • 3rd Quartile: 50%-75% of the Snap
  • 4th Quartile: 75%-100% of the Snap

The data revealed an interesting situation when crunching the numbers after the update.

Change before and after the autoplay update (% of total viewers)
(on average) Before After Change
1st Quartile       45,3       58,2       12,9
2nd Quartile         8,6       10,8         2,1
3rd Quartile         5,1         5,8         0,7
4th Quartile         6,7         4,3        -2,4
Full Snap       34,3       21,0      -13,2

What the numbers above mean is that there was a drop of 13,2%point of people watching the full video. Almost all of those that tapped, did it within the first quartile – i.e. within 2,5 seconds for a 10 second video.

This excludes the placement of the Snap having an impact on when users skip, but even then we can determine the effect the update has had.

Change in % of total viewers before and after the autoplay update
Placement of Snap in Story 1st Quartile 2nd Quartile 3rd Quartile 4th Quartile Full Snap
1 9,44 1,35 -0,04 -1,93 -8,82
2 6,70 1,27 0,94 -3,90 -5,02
3 6,10 1,42 0,15 -3,75 -3,91
4 11,97 2,74 1,21 -6,39 -9,51
5 17,22 0,28 -0,52 -3,99 -12,99
6 14,20 2,59 0,85 -4,06 -13,57
7 14,58 1,88 2,69 0,83 -19,99
8 16,21 4,26 0,40 -1,88 -18,98
9 12,76 3,69 2,94 1,54 -20,93
10 19,64 1,64 -1,83 -0,85 -18,59

The data correlated with the snaps position in the story is aligned with the drop in tap rates. The further out the position the higher the tap rates – and the increase is predominantly within the 1st quartile.

What does it mean for your Snapchat engagement?

We presented some grueling facts on your Snapchat engagement, but it may not be that bad after all. Instead of posting 20+ snap stories like many brands seems to have come accustomed to, it may be wise to do shorter stories on a more frequent basis – likely with 5ish snaps in it.

With the increased frequency you will be pushed to the top of the story feed and hopefully be the lucky 1st story to be viewed. At least your chances should increase with the top position. From a previous crunching of the data we did on optimal time for publishing (there was none at that moment, and we never published the article), we found out that +80% of your followers viewed your story after 4-5 hours. Updating the story 3 times a day every 4 hours may have a positive impact on the tap rate and the length of time you will be able to capture your followers eyeballs.

Unfortunately we can’t measure what number the story was in the user’s feed, but it would be interesting to correlate with above numbers. It is safe to say though, you need to create quality content consistently to be picked first…especially with the algorithm suggested by Digiday, where content you are more likely to view will be prioritized – they must (or should) factor in the tap rate more than any other metric.
1) All data based on detailed insights from Snaplytics customers.

How your Snapchat metrics changed with the auto advance update

How your Snapchat metrics changed with the auto advance update

Just when we thought we had figured out Snapchat, the Venice Beach-based company released an update that changed the Snapchat marketing landscape and your Snapchat metrics. Snapchat remains a favorite of millennials and many deep-pocketed brands are signing on to produce app-exclusive content, further cementing its importance as a component of any marketing strategy.

What changed?

In-app audio and video calls, sharing images, and a friendlier user interface were added to Snapchat’s repertoire. The app also changed the way stories are viewed, and here lies the most noticeable alteration to how users behave within Snapchat. Let’s take a look at how engagement has changed with this latest update.

Previously, your followers would have to manually click through the different stories under Recent Update, allowing them to choose which one they watched next. After the update, the app automatically goes from one story to the next with no prompt from the user needed.

How does this change engagement for brands and influencers on Snapchat?

The update may not seem like a lot; however, it is designed to increase time spent by users within the app and perhaps more importantly the magic word ~Snapchat engagement~. As a brand or influencer it’s important you understand the impact this can have on your publishing1:

Retention rate

Average retention rate has dropped 5-6% points. Before the update, stories that had 5-10 Snaps had an average retention rate of 90%; after the update that number sits at 85%. Stories with 11-20 Snaps had a retention rate of 86% before the update, while now that number is 80%. This means that the number of followers watching all the snaps in your story has dropped.

Snapchat retention rate for stories before and after the update.

Snapchat completion rate on stories before and after the update to auto advance of stories. With the percentage of first opens it has a significant impact on your Snapchat metrics.

First opens

The percentage of followers that open the first Snap in a story has increased 3%. Before the update the average rate was around 43% and that number is now around 45%.  This is an expected jump considering that the app now takes you to the next story automatically.

What does that mean for an account with 100k Snapchat followers?

Well, actually it is not a huge difference in terms of how many will see the full story. But if you measure the success based on “first opens”, you may be celebrating a bit too early.

Story with 8 snaps – before and after the update for a 100k Snapchat account

Before After
Number of followers 100.000 100.000
% opening the story 43% 45%
People who will see the first snap 43.000 45.000
% completing the story 90% 85%
People who will complete the full story 38.739 38.347

For a 100k account, your “first opens” will be 2000 higher than before the update, but with the lower completion rate, 400 fewer people will have seen the full story.

Plausible logic behind the numbers

What does this all mean? First, it seems your followers may not even realize they are watching a completely new story for the first 2-3 Snaps in a story. However, when they do, it appears that a percentage of them stop watching, which impacts retention rate. The increase in open rate for the initial snap is positive, however the negative impact from lower retention overshadows that increase.

The data seems to indicate that users are annoyed by the automatic transition between stories. Snapchat, by wrestling control of how Snaps are played from users, indirectly impacts how many of your followers stay tuned to your entire story. To combat this, the first few Snaps in a story must be able to hook in viewers more so than before the update.

Lesson learned: disgruntled users that realize the Story is not from the same account need a reason to stay and you must be able to provide that reason within the first few Snaps.


1) All data based on detailed insights from Snaplytics customers.