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Why People Tap Back on Your Instagram Stories

You might have heard: Simply Measured has Instagram Stories analytics.


We want to make it easier for you to draw conclusions from your Instagram Stories data, so we’re beginning a blog series explaining which various metrics imply for your brand—and how you can use this information to improve your content.


1. It Was an Accident

Instagram users tap back on your Instagram Stories accidentally for one of two reasons:

  • Their fingers move erratically. You can’t do anything about this one, sorry.
  • Your Stories include CTAs/stickers/polls too close to the left side of the screen. This means that, when a user wants to click through on a link or poll, he or she is tapping back instead.

Takeaway: Look at your Instagram Stories data and evaluate your content for the time period. Did you do a good job placing add-on content like CTAs, stickers, and polls in the middle of the screen, or did you confuse your Instagram Stories audience?

2. It Was So Nice, They Had to Play It Twice

Congratulations! Your content is sticky. Your audience tapped forward…then tapped back because they wanted to see a segment again or take the action you suggested in the previous frame.

Takeaway: Look at your Instagram Stories data and evaluate your content for the time period (are you beginning to see a theme here?). What made your Instagram Stories content so tap-back friendly as compared to a previous time period? Did you use a different technique, feature a different kind of storytelling mechanism, or include a new influencer? How can you replicate this stickiness in the future?

3. It Needs Sound

Do your Stories require sound? Tap-backs may be occurring because your audience members didn’t figure this out in time during the first run-through, but returned to hear what you have to say.

Takeaway: To ensure a more seamless viewing experience (and increase your retention rate), provide some indication early in your Stories that the viewer should turn the sound on. You can do this visually, with an emoji, with stickers, with text, or by using a combination of these techniques. You can also compare your Instagram Stories data for Stories with sound versus Stories without sound, to understand what impact this kind of content has on tap-backs and other metrics like replies and exits.

4. Your Limited-Time/Countdown Content Is Working

Limited-time codes and countdown content are perfectly suited for the Instagram Stories format. Check out this great example from Lively:

Takeaway: Experiment with promoting various products using codes, countdowns, and other creative techniques that flash content through quickly. Examine how your tap-back numbers change to measure the efficacy of each deployment/content package.

5. They Forgot to Vote

If you’re using polls, and your followers are tapping forward through content quickly, they might tap back to make their voice heard in your poll content.

Takeaway: Use polls to increase engagement and interaction with your Instagram Stories content. Test them by using a different poll every day for a week, and see how this impacts your tap-back data.

Want to get your hands on your own Instagram Stories data? Schedule a demo below. 

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Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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