Snapchat’s 4 million video views rivals Facebook – or does it?

7 Sep 2015

Snapchat has revealed that 4 million people watch videos on its platform every single day, a number similar to Facebook’s video figures. But what does it all mean?

Snapchat’s 4m views is significant across numerous levels, like how it was just 3m in July, or a million less in May. The trajectory is impressive.

As originally revealed by IB Times last week, and subsequently confirmed by the company, Snapchat’s figures are eye-catching, sure, but they may not be quite as they seem.

Its videos are limited to just 10 seconds in length. In internet terms, they would not even register as a view on YouTube, which feels 30 seconds is a fairer reflection of how users’ attention should be measured.

Facebook, though, times it at three seconds, with Snapchat seemingly reporting figures on a far shorter timespan.

This has the potential to completely undermine the numbers as, if you click on a video and click away after a second, who is likely to advertise on the back of that?

Immediate, ideal Snapchat audience

Well, if it’s immediacy you are after, then plenty.

Snapchat is more like live TV when compared with YouTube and Facebook’s standard, stationary platform.

Its audience is a cash cow. Its hard-line association with a demographic aged between 16-24 is ideal for monetising.

The company has sought between 2 and 10c per view of an advert, similarly limited to 10 seconds. That means it can charge US$100 per thousand views, a phenomenal amount.

This is all possible thanks to Discover, launched in January as an extra layer of Snapchat’s offering. Through partnerships with the likes of Sky, ESPN, CNN, Comedy Central, and The Daily Mail, these publishers post editions on Snapchat, selling advertising to go with it.

Money, money, money

This leads to clear revenue streams for the company.

According to Re/Code, if these partners sell advertising themselves they get 70pc of the cut, if Snapchat sells adverts, they are split 50/50.

At the start of the year, there were reports that Snapchat charged US$750,000 per day for adverts – again, amazing numbers.

There’s also its Live Stories platform, with avenues aplenty to monetise.

So maybe it doesn’t matter how Snapchat measures its viewers. The very fact the audience is out there appears to be enough.

Main image via Adam Przezdziek on Flickr

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic