The number of times a video is viewed on Instagram will soon no longer be a mystery.
Instagram is adding a new feature that will tally view counts much like parent company Facebook already does, eliminating a major blindspot for marketers attempting to tap into the app’s 400-million strong audience organically.
The change — which comes amid the company’s push to make the platform more hospitable to video ads — will start appearing in the corner below videos posted by advertisers and everyday users alike in the weeks to come.
Like Facebook, Instagram will count one video view as at least three seconds watched — a much more lenient standard than YouTube’s 30 seconds, especially considering the videos play automatically.
Both social media platforms are taking steps to make their feeds as accommodating as possible to hosting videos in an attempt to lure the growing number of marketers pulling their money out of traditional television for greener digital pastures.
Last week, Instagram rolled out a change that allowed brands to post 60-second videos, while holding the limit for consumers at 30 seconds.
While a view count may not mean much for the average user, it’s a critical piece of data for the brands, creators and social media stars who use the platform for business purposes. Paying advertisers have always been able to see their video counts, but for other brands on the platform, the only measurement of how much traction a video was getting before now came from its likes and comments.
Despite Facebook’s measure of success at billing itself as a destination hub for hosted videos, Instagram remains primarily known for still photos. The app is evidently looking to change that with more tools meant to entice businesses and artists to create videos specifically for Instagram.
The company seems to be on the right track in that regard: Instagram claims to have boosted its video watch rate by 40% in the last six months.