- Snap debuted a "Snapchat Storytellers" pilot program to introduce brands to five of the app's most popular content makers, including Mplatco, Cyrene Q and Shonduras, according to TechCrunch. The influencers will star in ads for the app's Stories and Discover sections and be available to provide creative direction to brands that seek to connect with their audiences.
- Snapchat isn't collecting a cut of any of the deals that influencers make through the program or holding brands and creators to any contracts. The program will add brands and creators to Snapchat's stable of creative partners and will help facilitate an introduction between brands and influencers.
- The Storytellers program follows Snapchat's expansion of e-commerce features for social influencers. The messaging app this month partnered with reality TV star Kylie Jenner in a video post promoting her makeup brand. Last month, the platform rolled out an ad-sharing program for influencers.
Snapchat has been criticized for not doing enough to support social influencers, but the company in the past year has taken several steps to support their money-making efforts and bring their massive audiences to its platform. Parent company Snap is working to make Snapchat stickier to boost ad sales as audience growth slows. One analyst forecast that Snapchat on August 7 will report slim audience growth of 1 million users for a total of 192 million.
Snapchat is losing out to its rivals when it comes to cultivating relationships with influencers. Eighty-nine percent of influencers and 86% of marketers reported using Snapchat less for influencer marketing campaigns this year than they did in 2017, according to a survey by influencer marketing platform Activate, while 88% of influencers and 92% of marketers said they plan to use Instagram for more campaigns in the future than they did last year.
Other social media platforms have experimented with ways to help influencers make money and stick around on the platform. YouTube has offered ad revenue sharing for years, while Facebook lets creators insert ad breaks into their videos for monetizing their content. Both companies are testing paid subscriptions and tipping features to help creators earn money for producing content on the platforms that reach large audiences. Facebook started a Brand Collabs manager to help brands search for creators by audience demographics, per TechCrunch.