What Counts as a View? YouTube vs. Facebook/Instagram

I have been promoting a new skiing video ad I created on both YouTube and Facebook. So far my results have been much better with the latter. I have had more clicks, likes, and views there.

Facebook (and Instagram, where the video also appears) is much more liberal when it comes to counting views. My video there will auto-play when it appears in a users feed, and only needs to play for 3 seconds to get the view counter to trigger. On YouTube I’m running a preroll ad that can be skipped after 5 seconds. It must play for about 30 seconds for the view to count.

My goal with the campaign is clicks through to my website. For that, Facebook has performed significantly better. I would credit the nice “call to action” button that is placed at the bottom of my video ad for this. YouTube doesn’t really have that, with only a small link or banner appearing on top of the video after a few seconds of play time. Facebook has given me about 10 times the number of clicks.

I will likely continue the campaign on Facebook, and pause it on YouTube.