Snapchat’s autoplay change reveals influencer marketing shortcomings

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Earlier this month, Snapchat stopped autplaying video Snaps on its platform. Almost immediately, view counts for some of the top Snapchat accounts dropped by an average of 15% according to Delmondo, a Snapchat analytics firm.

Some individual users reported even steeper declines of up to 40%.

At the time, brands and agencies active on the popular social platform didn’t express much concern about the change, noting that while view counts might drop, engagement was still more important. One explained to Digiday, “We’re still seeing the same number of followers who are chatting us directly or taking screenshots of our Snaps.”

But the influencer community on Snapchat isn’t singing the same tune. In fact, some report that their view counts have been cut in half since Snapchat made its change. One, Sarah Peretz, who posts Snaps related to food and beauty and typically generates upwards of 10,000 views per Snap, told Digiday that her views are down by 35% since Snapchat removed autoplay, putting a dent in her business. “It’s really difficult to explain to brands why I’ve lost 35 percent of my views on Snapchat.”

According to Peretz, who dropped out of university to become a full-time Snapchat influencer and has been a part of campaigns for brands like Taco Bell and , “I can barely prove my influence after this plunge in views.”

However, not all influencers are panicking. Cyrene Quiamco, whose Snaps typically generate more than 100,000 views, says “the removal of autoplay means more valuable audience.” She suggests that brands interested in view counts, instead of engagements and loyal audiences, have plenty of other options.

No standards

The differing opinions of Peretz and Quiamco highlight one of influencer marketing’s biggest problems: while many brands and agencies are looking at a common set of metrics to measure reach and engagement on social platforms like Snapchat, these metrics are often valued much differently from organization to organization. In other words, there are no standards.

So while one influencer might be dealing with a client that understands the context of the view count drops seen on Snapchat, another might be dealing with a client that doesn’t.

Unfortunately, because influencer marketing campaigns are usually arranged through third-party services, and platforms like Snapchat are focused on their own ad products, not influencers from whom they don’t derive direct financial benefit, brands, agencies and influencers will likely have to figure it all out for themselves.

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