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Facebook videos have long been an effective medium to reach your target audience.
Whether you’re focused on growing your Facebook page, driving sales, creating short videos, or even engaging in live streaming are great ways to reach a wider audience.
Also, you want to measure the reach or demographic and look at the number of people who’ve viewed or engaged with your latest Facebook video post.
So is there a way to see who viewed and watched your Facebook video?
The short answer is that it depends on the type of Facebook video. For regular videos, you can only see the number of engagements, i.e., comments or likes. If you’re doing a Facebook live broadcast, you can see who’s viewing it while you’re live, and after, you can see who joined the live stream. For Facebook stories, you can see who and/or how many viewed them.
That’s the short answer, but it’s a little more complicated. Fx, the statistics available to you for a Facebook story depend on the privacy setting for that particular story.
In this short article, I’ll go into more detail about each type of video. Read on to see the best ways to keep track of your Facebook video audience.
Regular Facebook videos you record, upload, or get tagged in
Unlike Instagram videos, it isn’t possible to tell who viewed one of your Facebook videos. There isn’t a button to click on that will show you a list of who exactly looked at your video.
You might be able to surmise who has seen the video based on the likes or comments it gets. Fx, if someone liked or commented on the video in question, they will likely have viewed it.
However, you can’t guarantee that someone who liked the video watched it.
Total number of video views: individual profiles vs. business profiles
If you’re just using Facebook as a social site to keep in touch with your family and friends, you can still see the number of Facebook users who’ve watched your videos.
There are various ways to do this, whether you use the Facebook application on Android or iOS or a web browser on your desktop computer.
If you use a web browser, it’s easy to do in a few simple steps:
- Open your Facebook profile page.
- Go to Videos.
- Click on a video.
- Below your video description, you can see the number of likes, comments, and total video views.
On a mobile phone, you can see the total number of video plays in the overview videos section. The number of total views is shown below each video.
Remember that for a Facebook video to be registered as a view, it has to have a watch time of at least 3 seconds.
If you have Meta for Business profile, you’ll get an extra set of tools to measure your video metrics performance.
While it’s still impossible to see the name of the person who watched your videos (unless they engaged directly with them), you can now see the total number of video views.
The video metrics also show statistics for audience retention (how long did the viewers watch the video), unique views, organic vs. paid reach, the age, gender, and country of your viewers, and more.
How to see who watches your Facebook Live Videos
Live videos are different from posting videos to your FB profile.
While live streaming, you can see who is watching, commenting, and liking the video in real-time.
However, when the live stream is over, the recorded stream will, in essence, be transformed and viewed as regular video content.
This means you can rewatch the Facebook Live video and see the total number of views and engagement. However, you can not see who viewed it anymore.
Facebook Stories is a daily “snack” about your life to your friends. As a standard, a story is only available for 24 hours. However, you can always revisit a story in your archive. You can also feature a specific story on your page.
It is possible to see who viewed your Facebook story as well. Here’s how to do it in a few simple steps:
- Go to your Facebook story
- Click on the list of people who have viewed your story (bottom left corner)
Now you’ll see a full list of whom has seen your Facebook story.
What do ‘Other Viewers’ on your Facebook Story mean?
You might see something called Other Viewers on the list of people who have watched your Facebook Story. Other Viewers are views from Facebook users who are not on your friends’ list.
Other viewers only show up if you’ve set your story to Public and someone not on your friend’s list has watched your video.
By default, all Facebook Stories are set to ‘Friends only.’ This is the opposite of Facebook Reels, which are set to Public first.
You can always change this also from your Facebook account:
- Tap the three little menu dots on your Facebook profile
- Tap ‘View Privacy Shortcuts’
- Tap ‘Review a few important privacy settings.’
- Tap ‘Who can see what you share.’
- Tap ‘continue’
- Tap ‘next’
- Under ‘Stories,’ choose who can watch your stories.
Now you can choose who should be allowed to watch your FB story: friends (FB friends only), public (friends, followers, people you chatted with on messenger), or custom (you can select who can watch it).
Notice that changing your privacy settings for a story will affect all active and future stories as well. However, you can always change it again.
Also, if you’re posting a story on a public business page you manage, the stories are set to public.
Why you can’t always see who’s watched your videos
Like other social media platforms, Facebook has to respect users’ privacy to a certain degree by law. Fx they have to live up to things like GDPR.
That’s also why you won’t get specific information about individuals that view your videos.
You will get a lot of broad data, which helps you plan and improve your content, but nothing too specific because they need to protect the private lives of others.
Can You See Who Is Stalking You On Facebook?
Data protection and privacy compliance also mean that it isn’t possible to make out any Facebook stalkers because you can’t see who views your profile either.
Some websites make false claims about being able to procure this information.
Understand that many of these sites are phishing scams trying to steal information from you. At the time of writing, no Facebook feature allows you to see who viewed your profile.
Also, it seems unlikely that Facebook will add the ability to see who looks at your profile.
Even social media apps such as TikTok are removing the ability. People on the internet are becoming more passionate about anonymity.
If you have privacy concerns, the best way to protect yourself is to do a privacy checkup from time to time and, of course, not to share anything you don’t want others to see in the first place.
In Closing – content is still King, and getting engagement is the Queen!
Keeping track of view counts and engagements is important if you want to evaluate the success of a Facebook post.
However, view counts are only part of a successful SoMe strategy equation on the social network.
You might also be interested in YouTube vs. Vimeo for Business. Which One Should You Choose?
If you got 1000 Facebook video views, but only two persons cared to like or comment on it, the video isn’t successful.
Instead, your video will quickly be buried in the news feed because low engagement tells Facebook (and you) that the video probably wasn’t very interesting.
So make sure to create compelling content for your audience first! Good content is a great way to drive up the view count and engagement.
And in the end, it is great content that leads to both growth and sales.
About the author:
Jan Sørup is a videographer and photographer from Denmark. He’s the owner of filmdaft.com and of the Danish company Apertura, which produces video content for big companies in Denmark and Scandinavia. Jan has a background in music, has drawn webcomics, and is a former lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.