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Snapchat takes on Facebook in video views, triples traffic since spring

Snapchat has tripled its daily video views in the last five months to a sizable six billion, according to people with inside knowledge. If the figures are accurate, that’s some achievement for the ephemeral messaging app, and will certainly sit well with the startup’s bosses as it continues to discuss dates for an expected IPO.

While all the social media companies are showing a growing interest in incorporating video content into their respective services, Snapchat’s shift looks to be paying off, according to this new data reported over the weekend by the Financial Times.

The impressive figure indicates that Snapchat now has Facebook clearly in its sights; the big daddy of social media announced in recent days its service has reached eight billion daily video views, double what it was serving up in April.

Snapchat’s video data looks all the more impressive when you consider that at around 100 million, its user base is a fraction of Facebook’s, which currently stands at a colossal 1.55 billion. In addition, Snapchat’s video views come entirely from mobile, while Facebook users can jump on the site via desktop, too.

Related: Snapchat makes you happier than Facebook and not because of sexting

While it’s true that different services count video views in different ways, Snapchat’s video-view growth, according to this weekend’s data, is clearly heading in the right direction, though building on this will depend largely on its ability to grow its user base and keep its video features fresh.

So what’s the big deal with video? Ad revenue, of course. Social media companies can charge higher rates for video ads than photo or text-based alternatives, a fact that’s pushing the likes of Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to explore new ways of incorporating video features into their various services.

Related: Instagram launches new video channels to challenge Snapchat

Snapchat’s most recent product, Lenses, lets users add fancy digital animated overlays to their video messages. Using the feature to help it rake in even more video-related ad revenue, the startup has now started offering sponsored Lenses, giving marketers the chance to offer users their own branded overlays. It’s thought Snapchat is charging as much as $750,000 for access to its entire user base for a single day.

As for that IPO, Snapchat boss Evan Spiegel said back in May the startup has a plan, though claimed it was “just another dot on the list of things to do.” Looking at how the LA-based company is moving forward, “become a public company” may be swiftly making its way toward the top of the to-do list.