VENICE, CA: Snapchat is reported to be looking for new ways to differentiate itself from other social apps, including the launch of reality shows and augmented reality lenses, as a new study says that brand viewerships on the platform have increased in the last quarter.

The Snapchat Quarterly Report Q4 2016 from Snaplytics, a Snapchat analytics specialist, was based on a survey of 500 brands with 24,180 Snapchat stories and a total of 217,000 Snaps.

This found that over half (55%) of people following a brand on Snapchat typically checked out its Story, a figure that remained steady over the year. And some 88% of those watched it to the end, which marked an increase from 84% in the third quarter but remained below the 93% figure achieved in the first quarter.

"Brands may owe part of their Snapchat success to the fact that they're not posting to the point of annoyance," Marketing Land noted: brands were posting content twice a week on average, with a growing proportion of this being video (61%).

It further observed that, unlike influencers on the platform, brands did not seem to have been adversely affected by the rise of Instagram Stories and the elimination of Snapchat's auto advance feature.

"It's the only social network where marketers aren't seeing a decline in reach," said Tomas Cilius, CEO at Snaplytics.

"It is essential for marketers to be creative and build followers quickly," he added, "since our research shows that recommendations and calls-to-action made through Snapchat are much stronger than what is accomplished with Facebook or Instagram."

Snapchat has also announced a flurry of media deals ahead of its planned IPO, including most recently one with 45th & Dean, the in-house digital agency of A+E Networks; the first product from this will be a reality show based on ex-partners talking about where their relationship went wrong.

And it is working on lenses that go beyond simply interacting with faces, as now, to interact with landscapes and objects in the real world. This development would open up potential for retailers, for example, to create lenses that interact with storefronts.

Data sourced from Snaplytics, Marketing Land, Variety, International Business Times; additional content by Warc staff