Snapchat has continuously added new features over the past year, and it looks like it is paying off. Snaps and videos in the app are now being viewed over 6 billion times a day. That's a massive three times increase from just this past May, when the company told Bloomberg that it was serving 2 billion views daily. The company confirmed the 6 billion views figure to the Financial Times in a report published this weekend.
To put that number in perspective, Facebook announced just this past week that the social network is handling over 8 billion video views each day. Facebook has recently placed extra focus on its video offerings, and that figure represents a two times increase from April.
But how do you count a "view"?
Comparing internal statistics is tricky, particularly for web videos. How long does someone have to watch a video for it to count as a "view"? For Facebook, that number is three seconds, while for Snapchat, it's reported that just a few milliseconds will suffice. There's also the differing nature of the content on each of these sites. Snapchat's videos are just seconds long, while many Facebook videos are closer to a minute or more in length. YouTube, meanwhile, features lots of content that's hours long. Google now measures usage on its video site by hours and not views, but it counted four billion views daily back in the spring.
For Snapchat, the figures undoubtedly offer validation of the numerous changes it has made to its product. After initially launching as a largely private service for sending short video messages to specific friends, the company refocused around its Stories feature. Stories are viewable by all of your friends, or, if you choose, a larger swath of the public. The feature, which eventually expanded to coverage of live events, quickly became Snapchat's most popular service. Since then, the company has also added other features, like replays, rewinds, stickers, and more, all while aggressively expanding the footprint of advertisers in the app. And for now, it appears to be going quite well.