Social Media and False Equivalency: Why You’re Not As Popular on Tiktok as You Think You Are

“There’s great visibility on Tiktok! I got 500 views on a clip that only did 50 on Youtube! Post there instead!”

Have you ever heard this or something similar? You might have been misled. Not to say that Tiktok is a bad platform for visibility – just that a lot of people don’t realize that not every view is worth as much as you think it might be.

Milliseconds or Minutes

A ‘view’ isn’t an equal measurement on all platforms. While various sources disagree on specifics, it’s probably fair to say the following is mostly correct:

Tiktok: Even a millisecond of a video that’s even slightly on the screen counts. Replays count too. Quickly scroll past it without even looking? That’s a view.

Twitter: Watch at least 2 seconds of the video and have the video 50% on the screen to count as a view.

Facebook/Instagram: Watch at least 3 seconds of the video. Reel views are equivalent to Tiktok.

Youtube: 30 seconds of watching a video minimum is required for a view. Replays don’t count. Autoplays don’t count. There are also other criteria that exclude views from counting.

So basically, your Tiktok ‘views’ are what other platforms might count as impressions. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have reasonable low requirements. Youtube views count a lot more.

Looking at my own Twitter statistics, about 30% of the times my recent media tweets were seen actually counted as a view. And that’s with the low requirement of 2 seconds of the video. Looking at some stats for other accounts, some were as low as approximately 15%.


As a brief aside, websites count views too. If you’re reading this now, I can count it… Hopefully, anyway.

There are no ads on this website, but if you’re using an ad blocker, I might not be able to see your view. They can block Google Analytics, which is the tool most websites use to track views.

Websites live and die on their views, so I hope you’ll consider disabling the ad blocker for this website. You won’t be seeing any ads from us!


So how does this all affect you? Well, different platforms will give you different statistics, for the same thing. You might think that you have a thriving Tiktok viewership, but you’re actually doing better on your Youtube channel. It makes it really difficult to know which platform you’re doing best on.

While it comes with difficulties, you can use it to advise your content. For example, a common tactic on Youtube is to try to grab attention within the first few seconds of a video to keep someone watching. On the opposite side, people often advise against overly long intro scenes, as many will click off before it counts as a view.

Views can be pretty important too. Looking to get free games to make content around? Most PR will be taking a look at things like views on Youtube and Twitch – not just the follows.

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Social Media and False Equivalency: Why You’re Not As Popular on Tiktok as You Think You Are

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