Views and Ad Dollars: Instagram pivots to attract influencers and ad budgets

Instagram has officially thrown its hat into the video view count ring.

The photo sharing social network announced that in the next few weeks, video views will be visible on video posts.

The video view count will be included in the place of likes. Likes will be only be visible if you tap views.

The “next few weeks” timeline doesn’t give us a clear start date for this change but we’re excited to see this.

Videos on Instagram have historically gotten less engagement than photo posts for both our news account and our client accounts. It will be great to have a visible metric that more accurately reflects the value of video.

We do expect that the 3 second rule will apply to Instagram view counts but it is unclear how the platform will deal with the infinite loop. The 3 second rule is already in effect with video ads on the platform, although, because the platform loops videos, advertisers are given “unique users” as a filter over views.

Behind every change, a business reason.

Instagram is trying to attract influencers and content creators to the platform.

YouTube pioneered this strategy to great success. YouTube stars like PewDiePie, Zoella, and Smosh command the time and attention of 10s of millions of subscribers. PewDiePie, YouTube’s most popular personality and recent addition to YouTube Red paid subscription service, averages 3 million views per video.

But YouTube’s weakness is mobile.

YouTube lags behind Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter in monthly users who access the platform on mobile according to Business Insider.

If Instagram can cultivate its own network of influencers and stars, that opens up opportunities for marketers like us to create content with those stars. This is known as influencer marketing.

Instagram wants marketers to spend ad dollars promoting sponsored content videos and our own videos on the platform.

Key Takeaways

  • View counts will be rolled out on Instagram in the next few weeks.
  • Instagram wants to attract high-quality creators and influencers to the mobile platform.
  • Instagram hopes to create an environment for influencer marketing and to attract more ad dollars to promote creator content and brand videos.

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