Jun 8, 2015

A View by Any Other Name

So just how long is a video view? For YouTube, it’s 30 seconds. For Facebook, it’s three seconds; which may well be why the social network was able to grow its daily video view count from one billion views per day in September 2014 to three billion in January 2015, and four billion in April 2015.

This new ‘minimalism’ also extends to digital advertising. To qualify as a view, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) requires only that “at least 50 percent of the ad’s pixels are visible on a screen for at least two consecutive seconds.

Why am I bringing this up? Good question.

First, it helps make sense of Snapchat’s recent claim that its 100 million users are watching two billion mobile videos a day (about 20 video views a day per user). Second, it provides a cautionary tale of what happens when there are no standards and every platform creates its own metrics, making it impossible to compare apples to apples. (Or even apples to oranges. Although, given the wide variety of methods used by various social platforms to measure video, it is actually more a case of comparing apples to elephants.)


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