What’s A Video View? On Facebook, Only 3 Seconds Vs. 30 At YouTube


As Facebook continues to rise as a video powerhouse, a key concern has also risen with it: what exactly is a video view? As it turns out, the standard of a YouTube “views” is 10 times higher than that of Facebook or Facebook-owned Instagram.

We surveyed all the major social video platforms to see what counts as a view. For Facebook and Instagram, viewing only 3 seconds of a video of any length is considered a view. For YouTube, it’s “around” 30 seconds, the service tells us. In all those cases, the overall length of a video isn’t factored in.

It’s an odd way to count at a time when for display ads there’s increasing pressure about the accuracy of view statistics. Of course, with display ads, the metric is easier to determine. They’re either seen in total or not. But with video, is only a few seconds enough?

The Media Rating Council and IAB say yes; as we reported Monday, those organizations define a video ad as viewable “when at least 50 percent of the ad’s pixels are visible on a screen for at least two consecutive seconds.”

Some advertisers and brands with short form video might think so also, especially if they are putting the key message at the beginning. Others might disagree. That’s something we’ll be talking to advertisers more about in the near future.

In the meantime, here’s the rundown of how the major players count video views:


About The Author

Martin Beck
Martin Beck was Third Door Media's Social Media Reporter from March 2014 through December 2015.