Creators get excited about their high view count on Facebook videos, but often fail to realize that YouTube and Facebook count views very differently. In fact, if you think your Facebook video views are the same as your YouTube views, you may feel a bit misled when you realize Facebook views and YouTube views are not the same thing. Let’s talk about Facebook views vs. YouTube views and how each platform counts a “view.”

Video Creators

Tim Schmoyer

Today we are going to talk about Facebook views versus YouTube views. Are they really the same thing? And can you compare them? No you can’t, and we’re going to talk about why.

Video views on YouTube

So, first of all, let’s talk about what a view is on YouTube. A view on YouTube is generally defined as a user-initiated playback. That means someone intentionally clicked on a video, on a thumbnail, or a title and wanted to watch that video. They prompted the playback of that video themselves.

Now how long someone has to watch that video on YouTube for it to be considered a view seems to vary. So if it’s like 301 views or less, you can almost refresh on the page and get a new view. But then after a certain period of views, YouTube seems to start counting them, taking them more seriously. Some people say at that point, watching at least 30 seconds will get you a view.

So YouTube actually takes view counts very seriously, and they are somewhat strict about how they count them. Let’s go over to my Facebook page and look at how Facebook counts a view. So I’m going to go to my Pages Insights, and I am going to scroll down here a little bit look for a recent video. Here’s one. Let’s look at this one.

Video views on Facebook

So Facebook says, hey, you got 587 views. That’s awesome. Where do they count this? This is the number of times your video is viewed for three seconds or more. OK, well that’s not telling me a whole lot. I can see that I got a big drop off right here– the first couple seconds.

30 second views– this is the number of times your video is viewed for 30 seconds. And if the video is less than 30 seconds, this just refers to the number of times people have viewed 97% of your videos. So almost all of it. So there’s a considerable drop off here between a number of views I’m getting versus the number of people who watch for 30 seconds– 242.

But when you start taking autoplay into consideration, this starts to change a little bit. So we’re going to change this to autoplayed versus click to play. And you can see now here, autoplay is still 587 views and 30 second views is still the same. But look at the difference here of people who actually clicked to play to watch this video. That’s this upper line.

Find True Fiews on Facebook Videos

The audience retention is far greater than people who are just watching without the audio. But this still doesn’t tell me how many people actually clicked to play. To find that, you have to go here to Post, and then you are going to find that right here– 90 clicks to play. This is the number of times your video started playing after a person clicked to play it.

So this is the more accurate number, 90, of comparing a Facebook view to a YouTube view. So you can see how this gets a little tricky when Facebook says, hey, you got 587 views, and everyone’s ranting, oh that’s awesome! That’s more views than I get on YouTube.

Well actually come down here and look at how many clicks to play did you actually get, which this is a number that’s more comparable to a user-initiated playback, which is how YouTube defines a view. And then you go over here and you can see exactly then how those people who actually click the play actually performed.

Now how do you actually get people who are watching a video on Facebook to be more likely to click to play that video? We actually talked about that last week, and at the end of this video here on Facebook, you will see a Watch More button. Just click that and you’ll be able to find that video and watch how to do that.

But in the meantime, if you haven’t yet liked our Video Creators page, definitely make sure you do that. Make sure you also click that down arrow to get notifications, so you actually get notified when I publish new videos here about Facebook video.

And I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Which one of these numbers on Facebook do you use to evaluate the success of your videos that you are posting to Facebook? I look forward to learning from all of you down there below. And now make sure you click that Watch More button that’s about to appear to find out how you can set up your videos to attract more clicks to play on Facebook.