Snapchat’s new redesign is, well, bad, but at least creators are getting something they’ve wanted for a long time out of it. The company announced on Wednesday that it would finally be providing viewer analytics to a select group of influencers and creators. These users — people who are featured in official Discover Stories and people with significant followings — will be able to see things like how many people have viewed their Stories in the last week, month, and year to date, as well as how long users spent watching each Story. Snap will also be offering a breakdown of viewer demographics, like gender and age, as well as targeted information about the kinds of content their viewers are most interested in watching.
It’s a smart, if very late, move on Snapchat’s part to give creators what they’ve always wanted. It gets tricky to make money as an influencer if you have little to no way to prove to, say, a brand just how far your influence reaches, beyond saying “I have 200,000 followers” or “Here are some screenshots of the views on my last Story.” (Screenshotting viewers isn’t a great metric, since it doesn’t give any gritty details, like how many times a viewer watched or how long they actually stuck around.) It’s also a move that feels like Snapchat is really trying hard not to go the way of Vine. A big part of Vine’s demise was that creators left the platform en masse for platforms — mostly Facebook and YouTube — that they felt cared about them and their work and careers. Also, more importantly, platforms that made it easier for them to make money.