Influencer Orchestration Network

The Snapchat Exodus: Why The Platform’s Biggest Creators Are Leaving

Authenticity intentions may be good, but Snapchat's lack of analytics and influencer tools have become a problem for creators

By HB Duran @thathbduran

Snap, Inc. wants to maintain an authentic means of communication among friends and followers, but refusing to create relationships with its top users may come back to haunt “the ghost” just days after its successful-but-not-blockbuster IPO. Top social media creators don’t become influencers overnight, with very few exceptions—online fame comes through hard work and building an audience over time. Behind those funny videos and duck-lipped selfies are shrewd business men and women who will adapt their business plan to suit their needs.

Just as popular Vine stars made the switch to Snapchat and Facebook last year in favor of active audiences and analytics, some of Snapchat’s top influencers are gradually moving their feeds to other sites. One such user is Mike Platco, who has approximately 500,000 Snapchat followers. He told Buzzfeed News recently that he’s encouraging his fans to follow him on Instagram after many years of feeling unappreciated by Snapchat.

“I love Instagram,” Platco said. “Every single bad thing I could possibly say about Snapchat, I could say the opposite of how my relationship is going with Instagram.” The artist currently repurposes art on the app to entertain his fans, along with adorable videos of his golden retriever.

Shaun McBride, a popular Snapchatter who goes by the name “Shonduras,” maintains a large following by creating art on the platform. Despite enjoying Snapchat overall, McBride is seeking additional audiences on other sites such as YouTube in order to build relationships with brands.

“If Snapchat would just open up the lines of communication with creators and help us understand the platform better so we could work [more easily] with brands, we’d probably focus more on posting our best content on Snapchat,” he told BuzzFeed News.

Instagram offers attractive features like more privacy options, searches, pausing and the ability to view a Story without following the poster. Instagram Stories takes the best of “in the moment” posting and user-friendliness, appealing to a much wider audience. While Snapchat is an effective, informal way to reach an audience, influencers need tools to help them understand and grow their fan base in order to better serve brands investing in them.

Social media platforms just can’t resist copying each other’s features, so it’s possible that Snap, Inc. will take hints from Instagram and Facebook. Creators want to be seen, they want to be heard and they want to be respected. With so many stars born on Snapchat, a few analytics tools would go a long way.