The other day, Instagram announced the much expected feature ‘video view counts.

    So, let’s cut straight to the chase:

    How will this impact your Instagram strategy?

    You will, for the first time ever on Instagram, be able to see how many users have actually “seen” your post (in this case: video posts). This is actually pretty ground-breaking since it gives you an opportunity to optimize and increase the percentage of your audience (your followers) that engage with your posts, without liking or commenting it.

    A new KPI for your Instagram video uploads could, therefore, be the ratio of your followers watching your video, along with how many that are liking it. Depending on your type of product and what mood/message the video represents, this might be a really interesting metrics to follow-up on. Partly because you want to measure your ability to engage your audience, but also to see tendencies in what part of the day is the most optimal to post (in order to get the highest reach).

    One of the problems with calculating viralability of posts on Instagram today is that you don’t know how many people shared your posts by sending them as direct messages. The transition from “tagging” a friend (letting them know about your post) to sharing with direct messages has an unknown development – only Instagram knows this. Although, with this the video view count – you will know the reach.

    So, here’s a suggestion of a metric:

    v = number of views 24 hours after the post is released
    f = number of followers
    r = video reach

    So, simple as this: v/f = r

    What you could do, is fetch the number of views every 24 hours after a post is released to see how the long tail is looking.

    v2 = number of views 48 hours after the post is released.
    v3 = number of views 72 hours after the post is released.
    …and so on.

    So, convert the equation to:

    vx/f = rx

    Which would give you this cohort:

    Time 1 day 2 days 3 days x days
    Engagement r1 r2 r3 rx

    Although, it would be better to use intervals of 6 hours instead of 24 hours (since it will give you a broader tail). But since I’m not counting on that, you can automate this through scraping Instagram data – I’m using 24 hours as an example since you’re probably awake 24 hours after you’ve posted something on Instagram.

    Customize this metric to fit your business!

    Oh, another good thing to know: A person has to watch a video for 3 seconds before it’s counted as a video view.