September 20, 2017 Mike Metzler

The Definitive Guide to Measuring Instagram Stories Analytics


Instagram Stories are hot. Riding close on the coat tails of Snapchat’s stories success last year, brands, creators and just ordinary people are creating and watching content on Instagram Stories in droves. According to the company they had 250 million daily active users in June, up from 200 million in April. However similar the two products are, Instagram has made one very derivative and defining product differentiator that will make a huge difference for brands and creators. Instagram has opened up their Stories API to companies such as Delmondo so that we can provide comprehensive analytics to those who create content on IG Stories.

Until recently, Instagram Story analytics was mostly limited to the total views received on each post. If you were a brand looking to collect stories data from an influencer hired for an #ad you most likely got a screenshot like this as your deliverable. Probably featuring less babies, but you get the idea.

Instagram Impressions Screenshot From Inside the App

While this was still more comprehensive and reliable than Snapchat, this was only available to those who created a business account and linked their Instagram with a Facebook page, and ONLY for the past 14 days. Other Stories analytics data is also available in the app but required a dedicated social media manager, someone good with excel and a lot of time to track.

For any Social Media manager charged with navigating the internal IG interface to pull and record analytics daily, we feel your pain and we have a solution. We’ve integrated Instagram’s new Insights API, and as an official Facebook partner, we are proud to present a more comprehensive solution for measuring Instagram Stories (plus photos and videos) in Delmondo.

Here are the key metrics that you should be tracking for your stories and how you should use them:

Total Impressions – Add up every view on each post in your Story and that will be your total impressions.  Unlike Snapchat metrics this keeps track of all impressions including if someone watched your story more than once.  If total impressions are significantly higher than total reach for any particular snap, it means your story was replayed multiple times.

Reach – How many unique accounts viewed any portion of your story. Tracking peak reach over time is a good way to track overall account growth.

Completion Rate – How many people watched your story from the beginning to the end. Completion rate includes both those who took the time to watch every frame of every post and includes those who tapped through each frame until reaching the end. Completion rate is a great way to track which of your stories kept people engaged throughout the entire story.

Reach Rate – What percentage of your total audience on your Instagram did you reach with this particular story. The Reach Rate is found by dividing the Reach for any particular story by the total followers on your Instagram. A consistent higher reach rate means a more engaged following.

Taps Backward – Delmondo provides the total taps backwards per story as well as for each individual post. While there are many reasons someone may tap backwards, Taps Backwards can also be seen as replay count and is achieved by tapping on the left most side of the screen. A high number of Taps Backwards increases the total impressions on your story. For the most part, a high number of taps backwards is a good thing as long as your completion rate is within normal range.

Taps Forward – Similar to Taps backward, Delmondo tracks total taps forward for the story and for each individual story post. Taps forward means someone clicked the right side of the screen to go to the next post before finishing the full time allotted to the current video or picture. Unless you have a story full of mostly pictures or if you specifically call for taps in your story, (which can be a fun creative tool, see this stop motion story Delmondo created here consisting of over 100 taps) a high number of taps for story can be seen as a bad thing and the result of an unengaging story. When using Delmondo you can compare total taps forward against multiple stories to see which stories people tapped all the way through versus consumed entirely.

Exits – The ultimate measure of an engaging story or lack thereof. Exits are the number of people who left your story as the result of swiping left or right to go to the next/previous story or swiped up to exit story viewing mode all together. Exits are inevitable and unavoidable so you shouldn’t get too down when seeing large numbers here however it is a very important metric to take a closer look at if you want to improve your content. Once you have a repository of your stories it is incredibly valuable to look at which stories had a higher than average number of exits. You can look closely at when people are exiting and come up with strategies to do things differently in the future. The Delmondo platform can show you the exact video or picture that had the most number of exits in any particular story.

Replies  – Replies are the number of people who responded to a particular video or picture while in story mode by clicking the send message button in the bottom left hand of the screen. Replies can be a good measure of how engaged your audience is should you chose to ask them for feedback or a particular question. Replies are also the only metric that can be turned off.

On top of all these metrics we also offer averages for all stories over selected time frames to get metrics like Average Completion Rate, Average Reach Rate, Peak Unique Reach over a time period. Furthermore all content is saved and is downloadable for as long as you are a customer.

Pro Tips:

Understanding what the analytics mean is one thing, implementing them into your content is a different story. Use these tips to improve your content over time.

  • A high completion rate percentage and lower than average taps forward is a good way to gauge if people watched your full story without tapping all the way through.
  • Ask a question at the end of each story and keep track of the number of replies for each story over a specific time period to judge how engaged your audience is.
  • Most people exit the story on the very first post, identify which stories had a lower than average exits on the first post to identify how to better begin your stories to keep people engaged.
  • They are many reasons why a story might have a high number of Taps Backwards. Analyze which stories in your repository have the most taps backward to see why people were replaying them. Were the replays because you created a story that was worth re-watching or could your followers not understand what was being said.
  • Don’t try to change your story format to improve all metrics at once. Focus on one single metric, (Completion Rate, Replies, or Exits to start) and really try to understand what changes you can make to your story that will have an affect on that particular metric. Once you have a repository of stories over the period of a month, go back and look at the stories that did the best for that one specific metric. Make a list of 5 observations regarding those stories and apply them to your content for the following month.  Once you’ve improved that particular metric move on to a different metric.

Looking for a software solution to measure Instagram Photos, Videos and Stories with API-level data like reach, impressions and more?

Delmondo is an official Facebook partner, and was one of the first analytics companies with access to authenticated Instagram data. Automatically measure your Instagram content and create brilliant reports combining all social content on any channel, viewable from any browser. Stop all the screenshots!


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