If 4 billion daily views has become something of a milestone for leading online video platforms like YouTube and Facebook, Snapchat has just crossed this threshold with confounding velocity.
Following rumblings that Snapchat’s "Live Stories" section -- or snaps curated around locations and major events, like the VMAs -- were garnering 4 billion views per day, a company spokeswoman confirmed this figure to The Los Angeles Times.
What’s most impressive, perhaps, is the speed at which this number was reached. In May, CEO Evan Spiegel told Bloomberg that the company was clocking 2 billion video views per day. And in July, the company said it boasted more than 3 billion views.
For comparison’s sake, Facebook reached 4 billion video views in April -- which is also the latest available figure for industry forebearer YouTube. However, in 2012, YouTube changed its measurement metric to count total watch time as opposed to total daily views for a better sense of actual engagement. Given that videos autoplay in Facebook feeds and are counted as views after just three seconds, many have questioned the substance of this stat.
The same goes for Snapchat. While the company declined to clarify what constitutes a view, the Times pegged the figure at just one second. It should also be noted that, unlike competitors, Snapchat videos -- which are typically viewed in longer sequences called "Stories" -- can't be longer than 10 seconds each.
And despite massive viewership, the majority of which is by users aged 13 to 24, this isn’t necessarily translating into major bucks for Snapchat -- at least not yet. Last month, Gawker obtained internal documents showing that the company had lost $128 million between January and November of 2014, while raking in only $3 million in revenue.