Snapchat isn't at the top of the Stories game anymore, but it's still an important player in the social media game.
After all, the network is still super popular among the younger crowd, so if that's your target market, your brand should no doubt be marketing on Snapchat.
However, Snapchat marketers have long had a major issue with the network: there was no way to record growth, track viewership, or otherwise track engagement.
Until recently, that is.
Earlier this year, Snapchat unveiled Snapchat Insights.
Brands and influencers can use this tool to track key performance indicators on Snapchat, like viewership, where their viewers are located, and even gauge their interests and demographic info.
However, Snapchat Insights has a few quirks and barriers to entry that have caused many users frustration over the past couple months. So with that in mind, we'll show you what Snapchat Insights does, and take a look at who can actually use the network.
Sound good? Let's dive in.
Here's what Snapchat Insights can do
Snapchat Insights is—like discussed earlier—an analytics platform for Snapchat. You can use the feature to track different aspects of your Instagram growth and engagement, as well as see in-depth information about your audience.
Accessing Snapchat Insights is simple: just click your account's Bitmoji at the upper left-hand corner of the screen, and tap the insights button at the bottom of the screen.
Do note, however, that not all Snapchat accounts will see this option. More on that later, though.
When you're in the Insights screen. You'll be greeted with some key performance indicators at the top of the screen. For example, you can see yearly, monthly, and weekly Story views and view time.
Looking below these factoids, you can also see your daily reach. Reach is the number of users engaged with your posts, giving you a better look at your "real" reach compared to your Snapchat follower count.
Then, at the bottom of your screen you'll see two more factoids: the gender and age groups your posts are more popular with. Click the See More button above these factoids, and you'll be brought to a screen with in-depth audience demographic and interest information.
In the Audience Insights screen, you can view a ton of interesting and useful starts about your audience.
At the top of the screen, you can see which age groups make up which percentage of your audience, what interests your audience has, and even the places where your audience resides.
Snapchat notes that there are over 100 different categories in the interests section. Users are grouped into these categories "based on their interest in politics, music, and more."
You can use this information to better curate your Snapchat content, and use the viewership and following info to determine your real reach and better track your Snapchat results.
Unfortunately, Snapchat Insights isn't available to everyone
One of the main frustrations Snapchat marketers have with Snapchat Insights is the limited number of users that are allowed access to the platform.
Currently, only invited influencers can use Snapchat Insights. And to make things even more frustrating, there's no real criteria for what constitutes an invite.
Here's what Snapchat says about who can access Snapchat Insights:
Snapchatters who are Official Stories or creators who have cultivated a large audience on Snapchat have access to Insights! You can use Insights to learn more about your audience and how they engage with your content.
So as you can see, you either need to be on Official Stories or have a "large following" in order to use Snapchat Insights. The social network has not defined what a large following is.
However, since this feature is still relatively new, we're hopeful that Insights will eventually open up to the public. This would be especially useful as there's no current API for Snapchat that let social media managers pull important insights—one of the biggest downfalls of Snapchat marketing.
So what about the rest of us?
Until Snapchat Insights is rolled out to the public, us "normal" Snapchat users have few options for viewing our Snapchat analytics.
Currently, everyday Snapchat users can view how many people have viewed their Snapchat Stories, and how many people have screen shotted them. To view this, just view your Snapchat Story and swipe up.
The number beneath the eye icon is the number of views, and the number underneath the triangle shows how many screen shots have been taken of your story.
What do you think?
As you can see, Snapchat Insights is a powerful tool for influencers and brands. However, due to its limited rollout, many marketers (us included) cannot use the Insights platform to track the growth of their Instagram audience.
Now we'll hand the mic to you. What do you think about Snapchat Insights? If it rolled out to the public, would it give Snapchat a chance to win over marketers currently using Facebook and Instagram Stories? Sound off in the comments below.
Need an awesome social media management tool? Try Social Report free for 30 days.