2 votes

Question for YouTube posters/experts.

Well, not sure this is a "good" question, but it is a question.

On YouTube, does it count you watching your own video as a view? Does it count multiple re-watches from the same person as a new view?

Thanks for your help. BTW, this is probably more of an off topic question and so will move it as soon as soon as someone can help out. (Unless, someone thinks it should stay for some weird reason.)

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wolfe's picture

Naw... didn't want more views...

I was just trying to understand the views I had gotten.

I don't do what I do for attention. I do it because it "fixes" something "broken"... lol...

But thanks for the advice anyway.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

The simple answer is sometimes.

They are constantly changing the algorithm that manages the view counts. The biggest problem they have had is with people putting bots on a video and artificially inflating the count. In general:

- Watching your own video won't substantially increase the view count. You used to be able to get +1 per day, but I don't think you can anymore. They could have increased the time, or done away with it altogether.

- Same goes with visitors. They will count 1 IP starting the video as 1 view. Visitors can watch it again after a certain amount of time has passed (unknown), from the same IP, and it will count as another view.

- A view gets credited when the video starts, meaning they don't have to watch the video for it to count. But if you have too many of these, they can go back later and adjust the count.

The counter goes through 2 known steps - the first is immediate, and uses very loose interpretation of what counts as a view. Once a video gets 300 views, the view count will freeze, and it gets placed in a queue for secondary analysis, where it looks at criteria like I posted above. During this time, the views are still being recorded, but it will not reflect this in the view counter. If it is determined that there is artificial inflation of the view count, it will stop counting them. Otherwise the views that occurred while the view count was frozen will get added to the total.

They will never publish the specific criteria used to determine whether or not the view count has been artificially inflated, as this just lets people know how to beat it.

wolfe's picture


Thank you. That was exactly what I was looking for! So it is unlikely that me checking my own video had anything to do with the view counts going up.

Which both makes me happy and sad... :) Happy that people are watching it, sad that I haven't gotten a single "like" yet... No dislikes either though, so I guess that's ok... lol

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

wolfe's picture

Whoever downvoted this without leaving a response...

Explain yourself, or answer the question.

I am trying to figure out if I am getting new views, or if it is mistakenly recording my "status checks" as views.

Who on earth would down vote a legitimate question is beyond me.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -

cant please everyone man,

some just are bitter to the end

I have a question as well...

I have always wondered if views are counted if you are not logged in under an account with them.


They count unique views

But their definition of unique can vary; they don't fully disclose how they define it, since it gives people the information they need to game their system.

It is also tricky to determine how they count uniques, because if you are in video manager, you will see raw views, where from the user's perspective you will see adjusted views.

If you are not logged in, they can still see your IP, and what is called a user-agent string. The user-agent string describes things about your system like your browser, OS and versions of each. An example user-agent string would look like this:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; de; rv: Gecko/20100401 Firefox/3.6.3 (.NET CLR 3.5.30729) (Prevx 3.0.5)

Unless you are in a lab or corporate environment, it is unlikely (but not impossible) that each machine from the same IP will share an identical user-agent string.

If you have more than 1 computer in your house, and view the video on each machine (without logging in), they will see (suppose you had 3) 3 requests for the video from the same IP, but with different user-agents.

Even if you are not logged in, and you view your own video, they will infer it is you by comparing your IP and user-agent to the IP's and user-agents you used when you were logged in and uploaded the video.

Those who have a bit of technical knowledge can change the user-agent string to whatever they want, so for multiple requests from the same IP, youtube will count them as unique- up to a certain threshold.

If there are thousands of user-agent strings from the same IP, they will infer that you are running a proxy server, and your IP will most certainly be blacklisted (won't count any more views from that IP).

wolfe's picture

That's a good question as well...

And if someone has an article that explains these details, that would be an awesome answer.

The Philosophy Of Liberty -