Vine, a video-sharing app that lets users share mini-videos, is getting some attention for their recently introduced "Loop Counts". Vine's user-generated six-second videos, also allow for users to stop and record making different scene inclusion before releasing their posts possible. Their "Loop Counts" feature is reportedly to indicate how many times people have watched a video in real-time on Vine, and as embedded content.
With video being essential in digital and mobile marketing, having a metric system is useful to determine advertising value, and user reach including virality. Vine user Lele Pons has claimed to be the first Viner to reach one billion loops, quite a feat considering how young the platform itself is- up and running since January of last year (and acquired by Twitter in 2012). But how legit is it? Criticism has surfaced regarding the reliability of the Loop Counts measure, since a six-second loop can be watched many times in one sitting. One possibility was suggested by AdWeek's Lauren Johnson: Bots could potentially be responsible for the traffic on the posts. To be fair, Vine has updated their FAQ page to state that they have "systems in place" to guarantee Loop Counts authenticity, and that the Loop Counts don't measure popularity and will not impact the listings on their "Popular Now" page. Admittedly, it can provide marketers with useful data since they can now see how their brands are faring, yet still lacks details that data analysts go crazy for- unique viewer metrics such as interests, devices-used, gender and location stats, and the like. Loop Counts is far from perfect, but it's a good baby step towards social media analytics.
In other digi news, guess who's also all grown up with their monetization plans? Snapchat, valued near US$10 billion as of latest funding round, has rolled out their first advertisement for U.S. users. The first ever Snapchat ad is a 20-second trailer for upcoming horror flick Ouija. Assuring users that it's just their way of "making money", ads appear as "Stories" in the "Recent Updates" section, with users being able to choose whether or not they want to view the new additions.