Twitter is joining the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Youtube in publicly displaying how many views each video on its platform has received.  The announcement was announced on Monday, December 11.  According to a Twitter spokesperson, these view counts appear on both organic videos and video ads, but not on pre-roll ads.

Public view counts are typically used to compare the performance of a video on one platform versus another.  View counts are used as proxies to help evaluate the platforms’ respective video audiences.  As an example, Facebook started publicly showing view counts back in in 2014, and brands and publishers saw that their videos were getting millions of views.  Because of this, they increased the number of videos and video ads that they ran on the social network.  Hopefully, this will happen for Twitter will see a similar trend in the wake of this news.

How does Twitter count views, anyway?

Since these views counts will probably be used to compare Twitter with other platforms, it’s a good idea o point out how the social network counts a view versus those other platforms.

  • Viewability threshold: Twitter counts a view once the video has played for at least two seconds while at least 50 percent is in view, in accordance with the Media Rating Council’s video viewability standard. By comparison, Facebook and Instagram count a view three seconds after a video has played, and YouTube typically counts it once 30 seconds or half of a video has played, whichever comes first.

  • Organic plus paid views: If a brand runs a video as both an organic tweet and a Promoted Video ad, Twitter will combine the respective organic and paid views into an overall view count that will appear on both the organic tweet and video ad, the spokesperson said. People will not be able to see separate counts for paid views versus organic views. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube also combine organic and paid views without delineating between the two.

If videos publicly show video view counts, publishers and brands, among others, could feel pressured to pay Twitter to promote a video.  This would help boots viewership, and in turn, the perception of its popularity.  Twitter’s video advertising business has been in a rare bright spot, as their revenue has declined throughout 2017.