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In our current social-media-centered world, people put a lot of thought and importance into the concept of views as part of successful social media strategies. But there’s something we often forget to consider: what counts as a view on Instagram isn’t the same for Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube, which means there’s no one-size-fits-all rule to follow.
So, to make things a little bit easier for you, in this piece, I’ll tackle the most frequently asked questions about views for each platform, so you can get an answer for all your doubts in a single place.
Let’s get started!
First and foremost, let’s go over the most common questions users have about Insta views.
As of November 19, 2015, a view is counted whenever a user watches a video for 3 seconds or more. However, keep in mind that this only applies to stand-alone videos, since you won’t be able to see the views of videos uploaded to Insta as part of a carousel with multiple content pieces.
As is the case with most social platforms, views remain anonymous on Insta: you can only see the number of times your video has been viewed, but not by whom. You can see who liked it, so you can at least have an approximate idea of who’s been watching and enjoying your content!
They do indeed! As long as the rewatch lasts 3 seconds or more, each one accounts for an additional view on Instagram. The total view count reflects how many times the video has been played, not the individual number of users who’ve watched it.
Sadly, your own views don’t add to the total number of your post’s views. The platform only considers other people’s views when adding up the overall number.
It might make sense when you think about it since reels and videos automatically reproduce when someone uploads them to their story… However, that’s not the case! Insta views are only counted when you play a video by itself —watching a story is just an impression.
Moving on to another Meta platform, let’s review some frequently asked questions about FB video view count.
As is the case with its sister Instagram, Facebook counts a view after a video has been watched for 3 seconds or more, or for 97% of their total length if they’re shorter than 3 seconds.
FB video views remain anonymous, but you can at least check your overall metrics, like the total number of minutes viewed or reactions, comments, and shares, on Meta Business Suite’s Insights hub. This information should still provide valuable insights into your audience and its behavior.
As long as you scroll past a Facebook video while it plays automatically and before it hits the 3-second mark, it won’t be counted as an individual view.
Yes, Facebook counts rewatches as views! Provided that the person plays the video again for at least 3 seconds, it will add to its total number of views. Some users also report that they’ve seen an increase in views after rewatching their own videos, but there’s no official consensus about it.
Well, it’s hard to say. Facebook automatically plays a video when it occupies at least 50% of a mobile screen, so even if you haven’t scrolled until it’s in full view, it will still count as a view after 3 seconds. It’s more than likely that a small percentage of a video’s views are just people who aren’t really watching it but rather reading the post above it or scrolling past it without actually paying much attention to it.
Now that I’ve covered Instagram and Facebook, let’s tackle a different platform —TikTok.
You’ll find there’s a crucial difference between TikTok and other video-sharing apps when it comes to tallying view counts: a view is added to the total the very first second a video starts to play (or after 3 seconds, for videos longer than 3 minutes). However, you should note that this only applies to other users watching your video, and not to your own views.
Yes, all views add up to the total number of views, regardless of their anonymity. The only views TikTok aims to remove from the total are those from spam or bot accounts and not real users.
Yes! All rewatches count as views on TikTok, even those that come from videos on loop or playing automatically.
There’s no definitive answer to this question. TikTok takes a variety of factors into account when determining how much they’ll pay creators, like video length, number of followers, total video views for the past month, and engagement.
I’ve saved my favorite video-sharing platform for last. Here’s an answer to all your questions about YouTube views.
YouTube views are a completely different breed compared to the platforms we’ve discussed so far. To ensure views come from legitimate people and not bots or spam accounts, YouTube adds up one view every time a user plays a video and watches it for at least 30 seconds.
Yes, watching your own YouTube video can increase the total number of views, as long as the activity doesn’t seem suspicious —YouTube’s finely-tuned algorithm aims to detect and count only genuine views coming from real people.
Rewatches are counted as individual views on YouTube, so they’ll add to the total number of views, as long as they’re at least 30 seconds long.
In theory, you can play a video on a loop to increase YouTube views. However, as I’ve mentioned many times before, the company wants real engagement from real people, so they may flag you for spam or suspicious activity if they detect you’re trying to up view counts artificially.
In general terms, YouTube tracks views by account, not by IP address. So, even if you watch your own video from multiple IP addresses, you may get flagged for spam if the algorithm detects they all come from the same person.
I’m sorry to say that YouTube doesn’t pay per video view —the platform actually pays for ad views on the creator’s videos. This means that what truly matters is how many people see the ads on your videos, and not how many watch the video itself. On average, a creator earns $0.018 per ad view, that is $18 per 1,000 views.
Well, that’s it for this social media views FAQ! I hope I was able to clear all your doubts regarding video views 😉.
If I may give you a final piece of advice, at the end of the day, what matters the most is that you put out consistent, high-quality content for your audience to enjoy —there’s no secret formula to boost engagement without effort, other than creating content that will organically attract more and more people to watch it.
Now that you know the ins and outs of how each platform works when it comes to video views, it’s time to keep creating amazing pieces to delight your viewers!