NEW YORK: Snapchat, the time limited photo-sharing app, is often seen as a vital social channel for reaching youth but it is also posing marketers some difficult challenges as they attempt to measure the results of their work with influencers.

Unlike other social networks, Snapchat offers little in the way of performance metrics and what there is, is not publicly available. Marketers are reduced to relying on influencers taking a screenshot of their personal analytics page in order to understand how many people have seen a video.

"You can have millions of dollars paid out in these campaigns, and they're basically being run on screenshots and text messages between C-level executives and teenagers," said Misha Talavera, co-founder at NeoReach, which links marketers with Snapchat creators.

"Stuff can get messed up," he told the Wall Street Journal.

So marketers and agencies are developing a number of ways to address the various issues that arise when working with young people with limited business experience.

And Speakr, a marketing platform for social influencers, asks them to check in multiple times a day in order to avoid everyday problems like having a flat phone battery.

Similarly, Collectively, an agency connecting marketers with digital influencers, now stipulates in its contracts with Snapchat influencers that they must regularly take screenshots of their personal analytics data as well as downloading the videos they produce before they disappear.

Most comply with these requirements, according to Alexa Tonner, head of partnerships at Collectively, but, she admitted, "it can be kind of scary".

At least one start-up is addressing the gap in the market. Delmondo has created a product it says will assist brands in calculating key data points such as the size of followings of Snapchat influencers, their average engagement rates and the projected performance of their videos.

"Brands can tap into this, put together a plan and then look at their results," said chief executive Nick Cicero.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff