Instagram to Start Counting Video Views To Lure More Advertisers

It's no longer just about the likes.

ByAlyssa Newcomb
February 12, 2016, 11:38 AM
PHOTO: Instagram plans to start counting views on videos.
Instagram plans to start counting views on videos.

— -- Instagram is about to give itself another social media makeover.

The Facebook-owned photo sharing app announced this week it will begin counting video views, meaning users can now see how many people have actually viewed their content. Currently, the number of "likes" is displayed below a video, but soon the number of views will be displayed instead, according to a blog post from Instagram.

Instagram will count a view if a video has been watched for a minimum of three seconds -- the same metric used on Facebook. The company said it plans to roll out the changes to users in the coming weeks.

In the blog post, Instagram wrote, "From seeing the world’s moments as they happen to checking out a brand’s new shoe line, people are consuming more and more videos every day. In fact, over the last six months, the time people spent watching videos on Instagram increased by more than 40 percent."

Instagram has two video products: Hyperlapse, which takes sped up videos, and Boomerang, which takes a burst of photos and stitches them together into a video that plays forward and backward on a continuous loop.

Counting views will allow Instagram to also better connect with advertisers to show the value of a video advertisement. Nielsen data found that on Facebook, as much as 47 percent of the value in a video campaign was delivered in the first three seconds, while nearly three-quarters was delivered in the first ten seconds.

The change is the latest shake-up in the world of social media. Twitter announced earlier this week it would begin showing tweets out of chronological order based on an algorithm.

In the coming weeks, Twitter users can turn on the feature in their settings. When logging onto Twitter, users will see the tweets that Twitter's algorithm believes the user is most likely to care about at the top of their timeline, going in reverse chronological order as they scroll down the new timeline.

Twitter's real-time stream will then be displayed underneath in the same reverse-chronological order, allowing users to also keep track of real-time discussions on Twitter.

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