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What is a video view? Depends on who you are asking

When you are measuring the reach of an internet video, one of the most important question is an obvious one: How many views can that video rack up?

Okay, fair enough.  But, here’s a more important question: What counts as a video view?  It seems straight forward enough, but each platform has a different interpretation of what counts as a view, and this is something you must keep in mind when measuring the success of a video.

So, what are the definitions of a video view?

  • YouTube: How, exactly, YouTube counts a view is unknown.  However, a view has to be “requested,” and YouTube has security that stops a view from counting if it’s viewed for “mere seconds.” Autoplayed videos don’t count.
  • Facebook: Facebook has one of the loosest definitions of a video view.  A view counts as when a video is watched for at least three seconds, even if the video autoplays in the Facebook newsfeed. Autoplay will start on the desktop when 100% of the video is visible in the screen, but only 50% on a mobile device.
  • Instagram: Like Facebook, a view is counted when someone watches a video for three seconds.  Views are not accessible to the general public, however.
  • Snapchat: Very differently measured here – Snapchat video views are counted the instant a video loads.  However, a user has to tap on a video to get it to load.
  • Vine: Views (called Loops) are counted when an entire Vine is watched – usually six seconds.

So, there you have it! Hope this is helpful!

snapchat

Snapchat is the fastest growing social network ever: Pay attention

As noted by this infographic at SocialTimes, Snapchat is, quite literally, the fastest growing social network of all time.  While it has yet to make money, that can (and probably will) change in the future.  In other words: Pay attention to it.  All of you.

By the numbers, as of today, Snapchat has:

  • 200 million Monthly Active Users
  • 400 millions snaps sent, per day
  • 57% growth in 2014.

Those are impressive numbers, and far ahead of where Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were at comparable times in their existence.

The issue for Snapchat, more than anything else, is it’s demographics, which trend younger than every other social network:

Social Networks By Age

That will present a long-term challenge for growth, if the network cannot, eventually, spread to older demographics.  Also, by design, Snapchat does not integrate with other social networks or the internet, thus potentially cutting off its access to a built in audience.

I suspect, in the long-run, that Snapchat will become less oriented around sending texts/pictures that self-destruct, and move towards a more “traditional” social network model, and behave less like a typical messenger service.

By the way – for elected officials who are looking to connect with younger, non-traditional demographics, Snapchat is the place to be: a majority of its audience younger than 34. If those demographics start to trend towards an older direction…look out, everyone else.  Particularly Twitter.

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Facebook is old, Snapchat is YOUNG, and other age observations from a new study

A fascinating new study from Business Insider compares and contrasts the age ranges of users on nine of the biggest social media networks:

Social Networks By Age

For starters, wow, I love the format of this graph, I really do.  It let’s you perfectly compare the ages among these networks.

The most striking and obvious observation is to contrast the top and the bottom networks: Facebook and Snapchat.  Facebook has one of the oldest networks, and the highest percentage of +65 users – which, of course, makes sense in a variety of ways.  The primary reason that seniors use Facebook is in order to keep up with their friends and family, which are slightly different reasons than younger individuals use the network.  Facebook is certainly the best network for that purpose, so it makes sense that seniors would flock there.

On the other end of the spectrum is how young users are for Tumblr, Vine, and particularly Snapchat.  Snapchat absolutely blows away all other networks in terms of the youth of their overall population. However, that should not be confused with the incorrect notion of younger users having completely left Facebook.  Much has been made of the fact that Facebook is losing younger users, but the network is also much larger than any other – roughly 1.4 billion monthly active users and 890 million daily ones. Compare this to Snapchat, which currently has about 100 million monthly active users.  To that end, though the numbers are going the wrong way, young people are still on Facebook, and there are far more users there than anywhere else.  Don’t look to far into the fact that Facebook is losing younger users – it still has a huge lead.  For now.

Any other interesting observations that you’d like to share with us?  Please give all of us your thoughts in the comments!

The best of the rest: Social networks that elected officials probably aren’t using but may want to

Everyone knows about Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram.  These are, of course, the most popular social networks right now, and as a result, they are great places for you to invest your valuable time when it comes to connecting with your constituents via social media.  However, they are not the be-all, end-all in this arena.  To that end, here’s a brief look at some niche social networks – and ones that may be worth your investment:

Ask.fm:  The premise here is easy: Ask a question, and get a response.  To that end, you can use the network to solicit feedback, generate ideas and answer questions from others.  That being said, Ask.fm has had its share of issues – in 2013, it was linked to nine cyber-bullying deaths.  If question and answer services are really your thing, Quora may be the better way to go.

SnapchatSnapchat allows for you to send a text message, with a picture, that deletes after a set period of time.  To that end, it has built a somewhat seedy reputation as a service primarily used for sexting.  However, that reputation is not entirely fair, and Snapchat is a great way to connect with constituents (particularly younger ones) in a non-traditional method.  You can send group texts via Snapchat – this allows for mass-communication and for you to broadcast a message to a large group of people.

Tumblr:  Tumblr is blogging gone easy.  It’s format is slightly different than other blogging services in that it is more stripped down.  As a result, it’s easier to maintain and to use.  It’s format tends to be very image and video friendly, which is certainly a preferred way to communicate if you are going to blog.  It also has a “reblogging” function that integrates one of Twitter’s best functions – the retweet.  However, if you are looking for a format that is better for more in-depth blog entries, other formats (like WordPress, which is what I use) may be more preferable.

SoundcloudSoundcloud allows for audio files to be uploaded and shared.  To that end, it is great for music but can also work well for speeches that can be easily integrated onto your website or other social networking platforms.  Even better is that you can record an audio file from your iPhone, which makes it easy for you to speak into your phone and go.  I maintain that YouTube is a better option, but if you can’t get a camera working, this is a good way to go.

Any others to add?  Agree or disagree with any of these?  Let me know in the comments!