A pedestrian holds a Snap Inc. bag outside of the company’s building in the Venice Beach neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, U.S. (Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)  

Snap Will Use Data to Lure Digital Stars Back From Instagram

(Bloomberg) -- Snap Inc. will finally start giving digital celebrities more data about how popular their posts are -- a move that could help reverse an exodus to Instagram.

Snap is going to give tens of thousands of digital content creators, known as influencers, information about how often people view their Snapchat stories, the time spent watching them and details about their audience, among other data, the company said Wednesday.

Digital influencers were having trouble making money off the app because of the lack of data about their Snapchat audiences, and instead many turned to a similar Facebook-owned product, Instagram’s Stories, much more often, according to data from marketing analysis firm Captiv8.

Catering to people who make entertaining internet content is becoming more crucial for Snapchat, now that the company is redesigning its application to separate public media posts from more intimate friend content. On Facebook and Instagram, updates from friends attract people to the apps, which mix in posts from public figures. The separation on Snapchat means the professional content has to be compelling enough for users to swipe to a different section of the application on their own.

Influencers, who build digital fan bases for their humorous videos, makeup tutorials and fitness routines, were increasingly using Instagram in the fourth quarter because they make money by creating branded content. The brands are more likely to sponsor campaigns if they can measure how well they’re doing.

Digital comedians created 23 percent more content on Instagram Stories than on Snapchat in the quarter, for example, while lifestyle influencers more than doubled the amount of content on Instagram Stories compared with Snapchat, according to Captiv8. Snapchat had more use among traditional celebrities, who have other ways to get paid.

Providing more data could increase advertiser interest in Snapchat, even if Snap doesn’t get direct monetary benefit from sponsored campaigns.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.