The Truth Behind Twitter Video Views

What is the truth about Twitter video views?

In today’s world of social media, numbers rule the roost — followers, likes and video views. But have you ever stopped to think about what those views actually signify?

To really understand the impact of your content, it’s prudent to delve deeper into the metrics and know how they differ from platform to platform.

In this post, we’ll take a magnifying glass to Twitter (yes, we know it’s X now; old habits die hard) video views and see how they compare to views on other platforms like YouTube.

Jacqueline Foster
Demand Generation Marketing, Lever.co

We can count on them to bring new ideas to the table consistently

Work With Us

The Metric Madness

When Tucker Carlson, the former news anchor, releases a video on social media, the numbers are staggeringly high. We’re talking about the ballpark of 50 or 60 million views or more within the space of a day.

On the flip side, consider the conversations between influencers like Mr. Beast and Elon Musk. Mr. Beast is transparent about his video stats, especially on YouTube. Here’s a sample of Mr. Beast’s video view stats from Statista almost one billion views on his YouTube channel in February 2023:

Image2

In most cases, posting the same content on other platforms could generate even more views. Since the content already exists, there’s really no harm in sharing it in more places. It only stands to help you gain more traction with your content.

But these conversations raise a compelling question: What really counts as a view on different platforms?

Twitter Video Views vs. YouTube Video Views

YouTube’s view count is often considered the gold standard in the industry. The platform requires actual engagement, so if a video auto-plays for just one second, it doesn’t count as a view. YouTube has strict criteria, and the rules aim to measure genuine interest in the content.

X (the artist formerly known as Twitter), however, plays by different rules. On this platform, a video can start auto-playing as you scroll through your feed, and just like that, it counts as a view.

Four seconds is all it takes for Twitter to count it as a video view.

Think about that for a moment. What does this mean for content creators and marketers?

YouTube’s more stringent criteria for counting a view signal a higher level of audience engagement and, by extension, may suggest a more captive audience. In contrast, Twitter’s lower threshold for counting views may inflate numbers, providing an illusion of interest that might not be as substantial.

For content creators and marketers, this underscores the importance of context when interpreting analytics.

High view counts on Twitter shouldn’t be taken at face value and must be weighed against other metrics like engagement rate and conversion to evaluate the true effectiveness of a campaign. Being savvy about these nuances can spell the difference between a strategy that just looks good on paper and one that genuinely adds value.

Depth vs. Breadth: The Attention Span Game

When it comes to building memorable experiences with video content, YouTube offers a more extended relationship with viewers due to its long-form videos. People don’t typically have the longest attention spans anymore.

That’s why short-form video content is so desirable right now. People crave maximizing what they absorb with their limited time, and so they want short snippets of content that present them with the information they’re looking for or a truncated story in as little as 30 seconds or less.

As it is, the advent of TikTok has lowered the 12-second average attention span of most social media users down to 8 seconds:

Image1

It’s a mark of the era we’re in, where TikToks and short videos on Twitter, I mean X or YouTube need to cater to the wistful demands of a fast-moving audience.

On Twitter, the relationship is shorter, much like a fleeting glance. The nature of the platform promotes scrolling through a variety of topics, rarely fostering meaningful engagement.

The dialogue between Mr. Beast and Elon Musk points to another aspect of this discussion: monetization and sponsorship opportunities. While YouTube allows creators to earn money and collaborate with sponsors, platforms like Twitter are still catching up in the creator economy.

To Post or Not to Post on Twitter/X

So, does it make sense to post videos on X (Twitter) or similar platforms? The answer leans toward a resounding yes. Here’s why:

  • No Additional Cost: One of the most compelling advantages of repurposing content for platforms like X is the minimal additional expense involved. The lion’s share of the work goes into the initial creation of the content — be it scripting, filming or editing. Once that’s done, leveraging that content on another platform is largely a matter of a few clicks. Plus, even a modest uptick in views can be significant if those extra eyeballs belong to your target audience. The ROI for such an effort is almost always positive.
  • Quick Evolution: X isn’t what it was a year ago, and it won’t be the same a year from now. The platform is in a state of continuous evolution, frequently introducing new features and capabilities aimed at both users and creators.
  • Unpredictable Virality: The capricious nature of virality is both a gamble and an opportunity. While one may have a consistent track record of decent engagement on platforms like Instagram, every so often, a post on X or TikTok might defy expectations and go viral. This unpredictability is not a bug; it’s a feature. It adds an element of excitement and potential upside to your content strategy that you simply can’t afford to ignore. A single tweet (Xeet?) can sometimes outperform weeks of carefully planned content, and when it does, the returns can be exponential.
  • Networking Potential: Twitter (dang; X) is more than just a content platform; it’s a networking goldmine. In an era where professional connections can often start with a simple DM, X’s real-time, public nature makes it easier than ever to engage with industry leaders, potential clients or collaborators. One well-placed comment or shared insight can catch the eye of someone influential in your industry, opening the doors to new opportunities that you might not have discovered otherwise.

Think of it this way: If content is king, then distribution is undoubtedly the queen. It’s vital to understand each platform’s intricacies to optimize reach and engagement. A strategic approach to video content can go a long way in building brand recognition and fostering meaningful relationships with the audience.

Last Thoughts on Twitter Video Views

Understanding the dynamics of X video views (ok, that makes it sound like X is a placeholder for a number) Twitter video views compared to other platforms is not merely an academic exercise, it’s an essential part of a smart content strategy. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or a casual content creator, knowing how to play by the rules of each social media platform can make all the difference in your digital success story.

So the next time you see the view count ticking upward on Twitter/X, YouTube or any other platform, remember that not all views are created equal. And as you navigate the ever-changing waters of the digital world, that understanding could be your unsinkable lifeboat.

If you’re ready to amplify your brand’s presence on Twitter, Single Grain’s social media experts can help!👇

Work With Us

 

For more insights and lessons about marketing, check out our Marketing School podcast on YouTube.

Write for us

Think you’ve got a fresh perspective that will challenge our readers to become better marketers? We’re always looking for authors who can deliver quality articles and blog posts. Thousands of your peers will read your work, and you will level up in the process.

Contribute to our blog