How Does YouTube Track Views?

While it’s exciting to see a video’s view count rise, there’s also a level of responsibility placed on uploaders and viewers to avoid artificially inflating a video’s views. As such, YouTube has a system that meticulously and smartly tracks viewing to ensure that users have the most realistic experience possible. This process is why a video’s view count can sometimes look different across the watch page, search page, and analytics. Thankfully, there’s an explanation that’s crystal clear.

What Counts as a View?
A view is defined as the number of times a user watches a video for at least 30 seconds. YouTube understands that not everyone will be able to watch a video in a single sitting and allows repeat views to count toward a video’s total view count. However, after a certain point—some experts believe this is around 4 or 5 repeated views within 24 hours—youTube stops counting these views.

Additionally, any video that contains malware—software designed to cause damage to a computer or server—will not be counted as a valid view. Also, any videos that are embedded in a website or used to spam comments will not be counted as legitimate views either.

When a video reaches 300 verified views, YouTube temporarily “freezes” the view count while employees manually check them for validity. This is done to protect YouTube’s reputation and prevent fraudulent views from polluting the platform. However, once the 300 views are validated, the view count will begin to update again. youtube views