Instagram is starting to rollout view counts for all of its videos in an attempt to draw more content creators away from rival social media sites. Over the next few weeks, Instagram will replace the “like” number located below a video with a number for the amount of views it has generated. As with Facebook, a view will be counted after three seconds.
Video content is currently booming on Instagram, with its 400 million active users helping to increase watch time by 40% during the last six months. The site is hoping that the introduction of view counts will lead to more marketers crafting bespoke clips for its 15-second video format and buying ads to support the clips rather than merely porting over content from YouTube and other sources. A visible view count is also aimed at making those not yet on the platform think about what they are missing out on.
Instagram has been making a push for content creators following the recent launch of Spotlight Compilations, which shows a vertical slideshow of the most relevant clips for a particular subject or theme at the top of the Explore tab. Communications manager Gabe Madway said at the time that the new feature is “where you go to discover things you don’t follow but might end up following. Things you never expected to see.”
The introduction of Spotlighting and view counts gives Instagram significant leverage with ad creators, especially as influencer marketing via sponsored video content has quickly become the hottest strategy in advertising. Instagram has also been Spotlighting star creators in order to prove that meaningful content can reach a huge audience and be central to improving brand image and driving sales. This also encourages marketers to source the best talent to make and share videos while boosting the demand for Instagram’s ad spaces.
The arrival of view counts will not be the last update this year, as Instagram has already confirmed that the creation and consumption experience will be enhanced further during the next twelve months. It has been a busy week for content changes on social media following Twitter’s decision to introduce a new algorithmic news feed and First View ad feature.