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What counts as a view?

If you’ve created a video and shared it online, no matter what the social media platform, it’s usually difficult to ignore the view count – after all, we create or share videos that we want others to see. You might upload something just for fun, or curiosity, or you may have specific views target in mind. If you’re working with video in a professional capacity, it’s likely that securing a certain number of views from your target audience will be a KPI.

But, did you know that what is considered a view varies depending on the platform you’re on? Why does that matter? Well, from a marketing perspective, it’s crucial to know the differences between each platform and which might work best for your video or campaign. One million views on Facebook is certainly not the same as one million views on YouTube. But fret not, we’ve done the hard work for you and found the facts you need to know for six of the biggest social media platforms.

On YouTube, a view is counted when the video has been watched for a minimum of 30 seconds.

Facebook views are counted after only 3 seconds. On a desktop, the video has to be fully on-screen before it starts playing. On mobile, it has to be at least 50% on the screen.

Instagram is owned by Facebook and also counts views after 3 seconds. However, if the video is a story or a live, then a view is counted upon opening.

LinkedIn also counts a view on a video after 3 seconds have been played.

Snapchat views are measured differently. A view is counted upon opening the snap, which means it could play for a split second and still count as a view.

Like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, Twitter also counts a view as 3 seconds or more of viewing time.

As you can see most platforms opt for a view of at least 3 seconds before that view contributes to the overall video view count. With that in mind, the first few seconds of an ad need to grab the viewers’ attention. Here are three excellent video ads that do just that.

Dollar Shave Club

Within the first 3 seconds, we know the name of the founder, the name of, and a bit about the company: Dollar Shave Club. The style of the ad, with Mike speaking to the camera, feels personal yet quirky and is reminiscent of the famous Old Spice ad (also a great example of an ad catching attention early on.)

Beats by Dre



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A post shared by OREO (@oreo) on

This Oreo ad is short, eye-catching and uplifting. The iconic biscuit is included as part of a quick, but beautiful, hot air balloon doodle, whilst the caption invites us to ‘Open up with Oreo and share a new view on the world together.’ Simple, yet effective. Now, who fancies an Oreo?

These are all brilliant examples of ads that grasp the viewers’ attention early on, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be suitable for YouTube promotion as well as those platforms with a shorter view count time. There are pros and cons to promotion on all platforms, and this is a topic we’ll be covering in a future post.

If you have a video that you’re looking to promote, but you’re not sure what platform would work best for your campaign goals, get in touch



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