What counts as a view on Instagram Reels, Videos, Posts & Stories?


Every counts as a view on Instagram, be it a picture, story, reel or a video, is a chance to engage with your audience or attract new followers. In the world of Instagram, views are important.


Instagram has become a must-use tool for anyone wanting to make a splash in the world of social media. With a billion people tuning in, having a grasp on how Instagram counts views on your posts can help your content stand out. Whether you're just starting out as an influencer, promoting your brand, or curious about how well your posts are doing, understanding the ins and outs of Instagram views is very useful.


Instagram is more than just a place to post pictures. It's a whole world where you can share photos, stories, reels, and even run a TV channel of sorts. Every view on your content, be it a picture, story, reel or a video, is a chance to engage with your audience or attract new followers. In the world of Instagram, views are important. 


They show you what your followers like and how far your content is reaching. But views on Instagram are not as straightforward as they might seem, with different rules for different types of content. Stick around as we break down how Instagram counts views for all types of posts and help you make the most of your Instagram account.

View Counts on Various Instagram Features

Instagram offers a variety of content types, each with its own methodology for counting views. Understanding these can help creators optimize their reach and engagement on the platform.

Instagram Videos

Instagram videos, those posted directly on your feed, start racking up views as soon as they're played for at least 3 seconds. But what counts as a view on these videos?

  • What Constitutes a View: If the video plays for more than three seconds, that's one view. It doesn't matter if the sound is on or off — it still counts.
  • Multiple Views from a Single User: Intriguingly, multiple views from the same user don’t significantly inflate the total view count. Instagram registers a second view only if the video is rewatched after 24 hours.
  • Effect of Personal Views: When you play your own video, it counts as a view. But if you're continually refreshing your content in hopes of boosting that number artificially, Instagram's system is wise to this and typically doesn't count these repetitive personal views.

Instagram Reels

What counts as a view on Instagram Reels, Videos, Posts & Stories - Reels Views

Reels — the short, entertaining videos on Instagram — have their own set of rules for view count.

  • Counting Views: A reel snags a view as soon as someone watches it. Because reels loop, every time they restart, that's a new view.
  • Continuous Loop Viewing Impact: Unlike regular videos, if someone watches a reel multiple times because it's looping, each replay adds to the view count.
  • Benefits for Content Creators: This means catchy, loop-worthy content has the potential to gain a high view count quickly, making it a valuable format for content creators looking to go viral and increase their visibility.

Instagram Stories

What counts as a view on Instagram Reels, Videos, Posts & Stories - Story Views

The disappearing content format, Stories, differs in how their viewership is measured.

  • View Count Mechanism: With Stories, every single opening counts as a view, even if a user replays the story multiple times.
  • Importance of Engaging Content: Because Stories are ephemeral, creating content that encourages rewatching within the 24-hour window is key.
  • Valuing Story Views: The instantaneous feedback from Story views grants real-time insight into audience engagement, making it an excellent tool to gauge immediate reaction and interaction levels.

IGTV Videos

IGTV, Instagram's platform for longer videos, requires a different approach to count views.

  • Unique View Count Criteria: For IGTV, a view is counted once a video is watched for at least 3 seconds, similar to feed videos.
  • Unique vs. Total View Count: IGTV distinguishes between unique views and cumulative views. Unique views are the number of individual users who've watched the video, while total view count includes every single play, offering a broader view of the video's reach.
  • Utilization by Creators: By analyzing both unique and total view counts, creators can discern their content's ability to attract new viewers as well as its rewatchability, which can inform future content strategies.

Being familiar with how views are tallied across Instagram's varied content offerings arms creators with the knowledge to tailor their content strategies accordingly, maximizing the impact and reach of their digital presence.

Factors Influencing Instagram View Counts

The number of views on Instagram is dictated by numerous factors. One primary factor is user engagement. Insights have proven that user interaction like likes, comments, and shares directly impacts the visibility and count of views on a post. This is primarily because posts with high user engagement tend to be promoted by Instagram's algorithm, increasing the content's visibility to a broader range of users. Therefore, engaging content that entices audience interaction can significantly boost views.

Another critical aspect that influences Instagram view counts is the strategic use of hashtags and location tags. The successful deployment of relevant and targeted hashtags can raise the discovery potential of your posts, making them more likely to appear in users' feeds or under trending hashtags. Simultaneously, location tags can magnify your content's reach by making it noticeable in location-specific search results. As a consequence, your content garners greater visibility which, in turn, increases your view counts.

Delving deeper, we find that Instagram's algorithm plays a pivotal role in this equation. The platform's mechanisms prioritize content based on relevance, timeliness, and user preferences. This implies that content that aligns with the users' preferences and interests, is recent or timely, and is generally deemed relevant by the app's algorithm carries a higher likelihood of appearing in user feeds and suggestions. Therefore, understanding the functioning of Instagram's algorithm, keeping abreast with updated protocols, and tailoring your content creation practices in line with it can dramatically influence and boost your Instagram view counts.

Does Rewatching Instagram Reels count as a view?

Instagram Reels have added a fiery dynamic to the Instagram landscape. One frequent query is whether rewatching Instagram Reels counts as a view. As per Instagram's policy, a view is counted on an Instagram Reel every time it is watched, regardless of whether it's the same user doing the rewatching. This means that if a user rewatches a Reel multiple times, each watch counts as a view. Hence, loops on Reels significantly influence the overall view count, allowing creators to bolster their engagement rates.

Instagram, aiming to encourage authentic engagement, has adopted measures to avoid artificial inflation of view counts. For instance, they have algorithms to track manipulative practices like bot-generated views or repeated views in rapid succession. This counteracts any attempts to game the system, ensuring that view counts primarily represent genuine user interest and engagement.

It's important to note that while views contribute to visibility, sincere engagement with the Reel–in the form of likes, comments, and sharing–is a key factor in the success of the content. Engagements are an indicator of the content's ability to connect with users beyond the superficial level of catching attention and resonating enough to inspire reaction. Instagram's algorithm leans towards content that generates true engagement, leading to wider reach and more visibility.

Therefore, re-watching Instagram Reels does indeed count as a view, but combined with sincere engagement, it becomes an even more powerful tool for enhancing visibility and cultivating a strong digital presence.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What counts as a view on Instagram Reels?

A view is counted on Instagram Reels when a user watches your reel for at least three seconds. This can be from your profile, the explorer page or even their home feed.

How does Instagram count views on videos?

Similarly to reels, a view is counted on a video when a user has watched at least for three consecutive seconds. However, it will not count additional views if the video is replayed by the same user, unless they refresh the page or come back later.

Do likes on posts count as views?

No, likes and views are different on Instagram. A 'view' on Instagram refers to the number of times a video or reel was watched for at least three seconds, while a 'like' is when a user taps the heart icon on your post.

What counts as a view on Instagram Stories?

A view on an Instagram Story is counted when a user views the story. Interestingly, even if a user views the same story multiple times, Instagram counts it as a single view. The view count does not decrease if a user unfollows you after seeing the story.

Do views on Instagram Stories increase if I watch them many times?

No, multiple views by the same user on the same story will still be counted as one view.

Who gets to see the view count on my Instagram Stories, Videos, Posts, and Reels?

Only the account holder can see the view count of their content. Other users will only be able to see likes and comments but not views unless it's a video or a reel.


Understanding Instagram views is vital for anyone looking to amplify their social media engagement. Whether it's the one-tap of stories or the three-second rule for reels and videos, every interaction counts towards measuring engagement and extending your content's reach.

On Instagram, 'views' are a valuable metric primarily for videos, reels, and stories. While likes and comments capture the volume of engagement with photo posts, views offer insight into how many users are providing their time and attention to your multimedia content. Furthermore, the actual 'view' count remains exclusive to the account owner, giving you a private indicator to measure the success of your published content.

However, remember, while numbers and statistics are crucial in participatory social media platforms like Instagram, building genuine relationships with your followers is equally significant. Strive for balance between driving up view counts and investing in community building and quality content creation – this is where true social media success lies.

Whether it's perfecting that reel dance-off or crafting engaging stories, every second your audience spends watching your content gets you closer to your Instagram goals. So, keep posting, keep engaging, and keep counting those views!