Snapchat’s @-tagging test could help brands & influencers build their follower numbers

Snapchat’s latest feature is giving users — along with influencers and brands — a new way to build on their follower numbers by adding the ability to tag another user in a Story.

TechCrunch covered the new feature yesterday, reporting that users can now tag someone in a Story by adding another user’s handle when typing text over a photo or video. Anyone viewing the Story will see a “More” option at the bottom to be able to swipe up and see the tagged account’s handle, Bitmoji and an “Add” button to follow the account — making it easy to find and follow more Snapchat users.

According to a Snap spokesperson, the feature is in “test mode” and currently works for any type of account, including “organic” brand accounts.

TechCrunch says that, for now, the tags generate notifications as long as the person tagged is part of the test.

The bonus for brands with this new feature is that any call-out from an influencer on the platform will make it more easy for the influencer’s audience to find and follow the brand — giving company-branded Snapchat accounts more exposure and upping follower numbers.

Likewise, when an influencer or high-profile Snapchat personality or celebrity is tagged within a Story, it will help drive their follower numbers by exposing them to new audiences.

The popular Snapchat influencer Virginia Salas Kastilio, who has nearly 80,000 followers on her @Ginicanbreathe account and often partners with brands on the platform, told TechCrunch the new feature has the potential to increase her follower numbers significantly.

“I couldn’t have grown on Snapchat without the support of my followers and other influencers shouting me out in their story,” Kastilio told TechCrunch. “From just one shout-out, I could get as much as 25 percent of someone’s audience on Snapchat to follow me. This was with manual username entry or Snapcodes. Being able to now click on the username and add directly? Game-freakin-changer.”

Last month, Snapchat launched an in-app analytics tool for certain influencers, offering access to data around their audiences, and how their Stories perform. The analytics tool is set up to show an influencer’s audience breakdown in the same way the platform has designed targeting options for its advertisers — making it easier for influencers to show brands who’s following them so that they can better sell themselves to the brands and win sponsorships for their Stories.

These new features reflect Snapchat’s move to better support its influencer base, something the CEO, Evan Spiegel, said the company would push to do more of this year.

“In 2018, we are going to build more distribution and monetization opportunities for these creators in an effort to empower our creative community to express themselves to a larger audience and build a business with their creativity,” said Spiegel during a presentation covering Snap’s Q3 2017 earnings report.

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