Good news if you are one of Instagram’s more than 400 million users and you’ve ever wondered if anyone is actually looking at your videos. In a blog post today, the platform announced its plans to show the view count under the video where you currently see the number of likes.
According to Instagram, “Views are the most widely expected form of feedback on video.” And, when you think about it, they have a point as this feature has been automatic with most other videos sharing platforms like YouTube and Vine. With an increase over the last six months of more than 40 percent in the time people spend watching Instagram videos, Instagram says it’s clear that the view count is necessary as the best measure of viewer intent, to assist its community in understanding how viewers engage with their videos.
But although this is a much-welcomed addition to the platform, especially for marketers, view counts, as pointed out by International Business Times, can come with controversy, especially if you consider what each platform counts as a view. Facebook, on one hand, claims 8 billion video views, with each view being, at least, three seconds while Snapchat’s 7 billion views are counted at a millisecond.
The move to add view counts on Instagram continues its pursuit of dominating video advertising. “Every part of a video view — from the initial impression to a complete video view — drives value,” the company notes in its blog post. Further, this change appears within days of the platform’s announcement to allow iOS and Android device users the ability to switch between accounts. This capability not only makes using Instagram much easier for businesses, celebrities, and those involved in marketing campaigns who typically need to switch from one account to the other. The company also recently created an ad-friendly option to extend Boomerang videos from 30 seconds to 60 seconds.
The new view counts will begin rolling out over the next couple weeks. Although the count will appear where the number of likes currently sits, you will still be able to see the number of likes on your videos by tapping “views.” Instagram says to keep an eye out for other video updates in the future, with video view counts being the first of many improvements to Instagram video.