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Facebook Introduces View Counts For Videos

Put A Number On Going Viral

Video ads are the new big thing in social media advertising, with $2.8 billion of revenue last year expected to increase to almost $5 billion in 2016. It makes sense, therefore, for social networks to do everything in their power to push videos to front and centre of their user experience.

Facebook made a definite step in this direction earlier this year when they introduced auto-playing videos into users’ timelines, making video as integral a part of people’s feed as images and statuses. This also probably contributed in no small part to the estimated 1 billion video views the site delivers on a daily basis.

Now they’re taking the next step, one which (in traditional Facebook fashion) is sure to stroke the egos of its most prolific users while also providing another eye-catcher for potential marketers. The site announced today that it would be adding view counts to videos, a la YouTube, so that users can see exactly how many people have been delighted and entertained by that four and a half minute clip of their baby just sitting there.

Facebook claims that video views on their site increased by 50% between May and July of this year, helped no doubt in part by the aforementioned introduction of autoplaying as well as viral sensations like the ALS ice bucket challenge finding their home on the site. Introducing view counts will quantify this growth, encouraging users to think of Facebook as a place to post their videos rather than simply as a place to repost content from platforms like YouTube and Vine.

Alongside this, of course, implementing this additional analytics tool will help tempt advertisers into investing even more in the lucrative world of video advertising. The data already suggests that videos have the highest click-through rate of all social media advertising, but putting the raw statistics there for all to see will help to persuade those who still doubt the potential of the platform.

The move complements Facebook’s other recent announcement, which is the plan to introduce a feature which suggests similar videos to the one you’ve just watched. The ‘YouTube hole’ (like a regular hole, but with more puppies and people getting hit in the groin) is a well-recognised phenomenon, and a profitable one. 

The Facebook empire has been pushing into video outside of the main site for some time now. Apart from the ill-fated Snapchat challenger Slingshot, new app Hyperlapse was released by Facebook’s cool kid brother Instagram recently and has been garnering almost universal rave reviews. The potential for all these various apps and features to be united into a single powerful vehicle is an appealing one, but unfortunately unlikely considering Facebook’s propensity for splitting off its various functions; see the recent debacle over Facebook Messenger.

The view counts are available on videos posted by people and Pages, and those who run a Page and post a video from it will have access to metrics regarding their post.


Douglas is an English Literature graduate who has written about everything from music to food to theatre, now a content creator for Social Media Frontiers. No topic too large or too small. Follow him @DouglasAtSMF.

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Facebook Introduces View Counts For Videos Reviewed by Douglas Clarke-Williams on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 Rating: 5
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