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Instagram Adds Video View Counts, More Video Updates to Come

A small, but telling, update.

Yulia Grigoryeva / Shutterstock

Given Facebook’s dramatic push into video, it’s somewhat surprising that Instagram, which is owned by Facebook and now shows ads like Facebook, has stayed pretty static.

The majority of Instagram posts are still images. It’s very much known as an image-sharing service.

That could change in 2016. That’s because the company is “doubling down” on video and planning to build numerous video features and updates throughout the year, according to a source.


Up first: Video view counts for both user- and advertiser-generated video content. It’s a relatively small change, but the idea is that showing people proof that eyes are on their videos might encourage them to share more video content.

The benefit here for Instagram is the same benefit Facebook gets by focusing on video. If users become accustomed to seeing it in their feed, it’s easier to sell video ads, which are more expensive than static ads. Building a video-hungry audience is key to building a video-hungry ad business.

Like a Facebook video view, an Instagram video view counts after the video plays for three seconds. A Facebook video has to be 50 percent or 100 percent on the screen, depending on whether it’s on mobile or desktop, before it’s counted. That visibility percentage is still being finalized on Instagram.

The change was announced Thursday but will roll out to users over the next few weeks.

Company correction: A previous version of this story said that an Instagram video view would count once the video was 25 percent on the screen, according to information provided by the company. That is not actually the case, and the company is still finalizing how it will count video views moving forward. (We assume that means they are testing different measurement criteria now.)

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