Does Instagram Count Multiple Views from the Same Person?

Posted by Arch on February 26, 2019

Advertising through Instagram is easy to get into, but very hard to master. One of the most important things to learn is how to track the performance of your posts and scan your audience. If you would like to know whether Instagram counts multiple views from your followers or not, read on.

How Does Instagram Count Views?

Instagram tracks the views of all content posted on the platform – stories, videos, photos, Boomerangs, you name it. While the precise view count might not be of great importance to some casual users, they are essential to business users. The number of views is one of the key metrics advertisers on Instagram use to determine the success of their marketing campaigns.

Instagram has its own way of counting the post views. The criteria are rather simple and easy to understand, and they apply to all posts. Here’s how it works. For a view to be counted, a post has to be seen in the user’s news feed. If it is a video, a Boomerang, it will play automatically while video stories have to be user-initiated. Keep in mind that videos have to play for at least three seconds for a view to be counted. On the other hand, a story view is counted immediately upon opening.

Instagram does not count loops as video views. Next, all posts have to be seen from within the app. Instagram does not count the views of the embedded posts. Consequently, only the views from mobile devices (phones/tablets) count.

Multiple Views from the Same Person

There has been much contention about whether Instagram counts multiple views from the same user or not. The answer to this dilemma is, yes, Instagram counts multiple views from the same user. Instagram counts every view, but it separates them into two categories – reach and impressions. Again, while this division might seem unimportant to casual users, this is a fantastic tool for marketers to gain a deeper insight into their campaign’s performance.

The first category, reach, is the number of users your post reached. In other words, reach is the number of unique views of your post. The impression metric is the total number of views of your post. If, for example, your video reached one person and they viewed it three times, you would have 1 in the reach column and 3 in the impressions.

How to Check Your Views

Let’s say you have posted a video of your dog performing the latest trick you taught it and you would like to see how many people viewed it. Just go to the video and look at the bottom of the post. There will be the number of views. If you tap the number, you will also see the number of likes and who liked. However, you won’t be able to see how many times a particular follower played the video.

How the Others Do It

With the meteoric rise in popularity over the last ten years, social platforms have become the number one place for businesses to reach their potential customers directly. This, in turn, prompted the social platforms to introduce hard and fast rules about how post views are counted. Here’s how some other social platforms do it. The focus will be on video posts.

  1. Facebook’s criteria for counting views are similar to Instagram’s in some regards. A Facebook video plays automatically in the news feed and has to play for at least three seconds for a view to be counted. Facebook, however, counts all views. Embedded posts on other sites and views on all platforms are included.
  2. Twitter videos play automatically and have to play for three seconds to qualify for a view. Like Facebook, Twitter includes views from embedded posts. Unlike Instagram, Twitter counts views from all devices.
  3. YouTube has the harshest rules. For a view to be counted, an undisclosed percentage of the video must be viewed for it to qualify as a view. Also, multiple views from the same IP address under 6 to 8 hours do not count. If you are advertising through Google TrueView, your video has to be played for at least 30 seconds to gain a view.
  4. Snapchat story rules are similar to Instagram story rules. The user has to initiate the story for a view to be counted. Also, it is counted upon opening. Snapchat only counts in-app views and is viewable exclusively on mobile devices.


Final Thoughts

In order to provide its users with thorough data on their posts’ performance, Instagram has split the unique and repeated views into reach and impressions. That makes it easier to gauge the audience’s engagement and plan for the next campaign.

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