How Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat Count Video Views Differently
Video views are critical for measuring success not only to artists, but also labels, advertisers, and anyone else attached to the video in question. Unfortunately, measuring these views is not always easy, as each platform has their own method for counting. Here we examine what the different platforms use to calculate views.
Guest Post by Bobby Owsinski on Music 3.0
Video views are an important measurement for not only artists and bands, but record labels, advertisers and sponsors. A high number of views can lead to not only to label and sponsor interest, but also has a snowball effect of more viewers wanting to watch as well. When it comes to monetizing video views though, the problem is that most services like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat all measure what they consider a “view” differently.
According to an article on Business Insider, there are 4 factors that determine a view:
1. Whether the video autoplays or was user initiated
2. The required amount of time spent watching the video
3. The amount of video that’s on the screen
4. Whether the video is played in the app or embedded in another site
Let’s look at what the qualifications for a view are on some popular platforms:
- Facebook is the most liberal with what it considers a view. If a video is autoplayed for just 3 seconds, and it’s 100% on the screen for desktop or 50% for mobile, it’s considered a view.
- For Snapchat, as soon as a video is played, even with autoplay, it’s considered a view if it’s 100% in view and played in the app.
- With Instagram, if the video is played for 3 seconds either in the feed or upon opening a story, and it’s 100% in view in the app only, it’s considered a view.
- For Twitter, the video can be autoplayed, and as long as it’s watched for 3 seconds and is 100% in view either on mobile or desktop, it’s considered a view. This counts across all platforms and embedded posts as well.
- For Vine, autoplayed Vines that are watched all the way through are considered a view, but only user-initated are counted for longer videos as long as a certain % of the total video is spent watching. The videos must be 50% in view for Vine, and 100% on Twitter.
- YouTube is much tougher than any of the above. The video has to be user initiated, and it has to be viewed an indeterminate % of the total video length. For advertisers, it has to be 50% in view, but that includes all devices, all platforms, and embedded posts.
As you can see, not all views are equal and some of the view numbers you see can be taken with a grain of salt as a result.