What Counts as a View on Different Social Media Sites?

what counts as a view on social platforms in 2024
We gave you a guide on how each social media site tracks its views. We also warned you of the manipulative practices that should be abandoned.

Views are super important for any content creator. And, probably a primary factor all algorithms take into consideration to reward you with astounding reach, more followers, shares, and name for yourself. 

But, there has been an update in policy. Not every platform tracks the views the same way. Plus, to counter manipulation from other users, and to minimize bots, and fake profiles, each platform has launched its own policy, and is leveraging machine learning to keep viewership transparent, and original, ensuring that the content reaches its ideal audience. 

So, in this blog, I’ll guide you how each platform tracks its views. 

1. Why Are Views on YouTube Important?

Views are important on YouTube because more views mean that people are interested in your content. As a result, YouTube’s algorithm will push your video to feeds of more users, thus allowing you to get more engagement, and recognition on your content. 

1.1. What Counts as a View on YouTube?

For a view to be counted on YouTube, a person needs to watch the video for a duration of at least 30 seconds. And, it doesn’t need to be in one sitting. Also, if a user watches your video twice, it will be counted twice in total views. 

1.2. Does Rewatching a YouTube Video Count as a View?

Yes, rewatching the video increases the view count. However, YouTube has smart algorithms that can easily detect if a person is actually watching the video again. So, don’t try to manipulate the algorithm by increasing views simply by playing the clip multiple times. 

1.4. If I host my video on my blog, will it count the views?

If you host your video on your personal blog or any other website, you need a visitor to watch it for at least 30 seconds to count it as a view. So, yes if you host your video on any other website or social media platform, it will count the total views on your YouTube video

1.5. How to Accurately Measure YouTube Views?

The YouTube analytics studio does not count views in real-time. So, you’ve to refresh the feed every once in a while. Know that for a view to be added to your channel, it’s important that the user clicked the play button, and watched the clip for no less than 30 seconds. 

Moreover, spam views, and bot visits don’t count as views on your channel anymore. Manipulating the algorithm with bot visits is by no means encouraged, and may result in permanent suspension of your YouTube account. So, it’s always best to refrain from such manipulative practices. 

2. Why Are Views on Facebook Important?

Facebook views are incredibly important for any creator. Now, we all know that to gain an astounding reach, you’ve two options. You could either have the visitor land on your page, which is quite unlikely these days, unless you’re doing paid promotion. 

However, once they do land on the page, they expect something exciting, that would pin them to your page on Facebook. So, your first views from new visitors are actually your first impression. You can’t afford to lose their interest here. If that happens, not only will these visitors bounce off, but they’re not likely to return in the future. 

The same applies to your videos or reels appearing in social feeds, or streams. Gaining more impressions, and dwell time, not only tells the algorithm that viewers find your content interesting, but also valuable. Plus, views are the only key metric that enhance your reach on these apps. 

Remember, Facebook is also a big marketplace. It relies heavily on sponsor revenue. And, Facebook wants to place sponsor ads on content that usually gets higher viewers. 

So, you just cannot ignore the significance of views on Facebook. 

2.1. What Counts as a View on Facebook?

For a view to be counted on Facebook, a user needs to watch the content for at least three seconds. Know that the time only counts after the video is played or video feed being on autoplay. 

This only applies to videos. For short-form content like reels, the rules are slightly different. Facebook counts the view once the impression is made on your reel. So, it’s easily a millisecond. 

Now, to increase your reach, you need a bit more than that. Create something so enticing that users stay glued to your content. Try using some fun animation, or often start with whiteboard style animation. 

2.2. Does One User’s Multiple Views on Facebook Count?

Multiple views on Facebook work differently. Know that a view may not be counted for a Facebook video. However, views are added as soon as the replay button is played for a reel. 

What’s important to know here is that reels are tuned to autoplay, so as soon as an impression is counted, the analytics counts it as a view for the reel. That’s one reason why you see so many views on Facebook reels, and most of them win an astounding reach when compared to horizontal videos. 

2.3. Is It Considered a View When You Scroll Past a Facebook Video?

The view count on Facebook for videos depends upon a number of factors. If you’re scrolling on a desktop, then the video should fully appear on the screen. Plus, it must be on autoplay to be counted as a view. For mobile, the rules are slightly different. 

For a view to be counted, the video should be at least 50% visible while scrolling. And, there’s one reason why Facebook counts it as a view. Most people scroll down to the comments section, and video description while scrolling on the phone. 

2.4. How Does Facebook Filter Bot Views?

Yes, absolutely. Both views don’t work anymore. In fact, Facebook has a strict policy against bots coming to your social feed. In the fourth quarter of 2023, Facebook tracked down 691 million fake Facebook profiles, and banned them completely. So, it’s important to know that the algorithms have advanced in recent years. They know how to spot, and report fake impressions, clicks, and views. 

2.5. How Does Facebook Measure Views?

Facebook measures views in a variety of ways. Firstly, it takes into account the fact that whether or not the video is on autoplay. Secondly, it checks the total duration of the video. And, finally, it checks the sound quality of the video. 

We already know that for a view to be counted, the video must be played for at least three seconds. Know that poor sound quality might win you this time since users would want to figure out what the video is all about. However, it’s no substitute for a quality video experience. So, this manipulative practice doesn’t work in the longer-run. 

3. Why Are Views on Instagram Important?

We already know that the number of views, and total watch time gives these social media platforms the opportunity to place ads, and earn revenue. The viewers are not just important to them, but to creators as well. In this section, you’ll learn how Instagram has its own unique perimeters for views, and content promotion. 

3.1. What Counts as a View on Instagram?

Just like Facebook, Instagram also counts views after three seconds. This applies to all videos posted on the platform. 

3.2. Does Rewatching an Instagram Video Count as a View?

Yes, multiple views from the same user can be counted. However, to confront manipulative practices, Instagram uses smart machine learning algorithms to track user behavior. You can’t fake it. Instead of being rewarded for watching the same clip multiple times, you can be penalized. 

More importantly, you as a creator should always eye for something better. You should be more interested in engagement metrics including likes, shares, and comments. 

3.3. Does Instagram count video views From a Story?

No, Instagram will not count video views when shared on someone’s story. Even though it will give the algorithm a signal that your content is worthy of great reach, and engagement. 

However, if you really wish to garner more views on your reel when it’s posted on someone’s story. Here’s what you do: Make sure to include a sharp hook that teases viewers to watch the full video on your profile. Just make sure that it’s attractive enough to make them tap on the video, and land on your profile. Not only will users watch the full video, but they’ll surely check out more content on your profile. 

3.4. Can I Watch My Own Videos on Instagram to Increase Views?

No, it’s not a great idea to watch your videos by yourself. Remember, Instagram doesn’t count self views. This practice has been adapted to keep content creation transparent, and provide ample opportunity for all creators. 

Instagram leverages machine learning to learn about user behavior, and find out if the user is actually human, or a bot. 

2.5. Why can’t I see my own views on my Instagram videos?

As a creator, there will be instances where even you might not see the views on your profile. According to Instagram, this could be possible as registering views on videos takes time. One big reason why views don’t add to the total is that your clip is part of a post with lots of photos. Secondly, views may not add up, if your account is set to private. Your posts will only show views, after your video has surpassed a certain number of views. And, finally Instagram tracks views only from its app. So, if your clip is embedded on any website or blog page, it won’t count. 


Let’s wrap this one up. We gave you a comprehensive guide on how each social media site tracks its views. We also warned you of the manipulative practices that should be abandoned at all costs if you wish to create authentic content, and expect to be rewarded by the audience on the platforms. We’ve also given you tips to improve your video content. 

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