How many seconds does a view have to last to be counted by YouTube?

This is probably the queen of questions for this type of topic. Question to which, as regards the contents published by the channels, it is not possible to answer.

There is no official article from Google that quantifies this time. Because?

Because the display time can actually vary based on what the algorithm itself decides. The YouTube algorithm may decide that a 1-second view is enough for someone to increment the view counter and another 10 seconds.

Until a few years ago (and there are still articles online that report this information) it was believed that the precise value was 30 seconds. What is certain is that today this is no longer the case. Today we don’t know exactly how YouTube views work.

But the fact of not being able to know exactly does not mean not being able to know anything … quite the contrary!

Since Google wants to be sure that the view count comes from humans and not from machines (there are also those who try to ” cheat the system ” by buying views, as well as subscribers, comments, and likes … you can buy practically anything), YouTube implements various analytics techniques to identify what it defines as legitimate views.

validation process is continuous and therefore the view count of a video can change at any time.

When and if the analysis detects illegal views – regardless of their duration – they are removed from the total count which therefore decreases.

No one but Google itself can have this information. Not even the authors of the videos who have access to the analytics part of YouTube videos

YouTube channel managers cannot see the distribution of the duration of the views (for example 100 views of 1 second, 20 of 2 seconds, 500 of 30 seconds, and so on).

However, the average viewing time and view trend for each moment of the video are available (yes, because people can jump from one part of the video to another, and therefore not all moments are viewed the same way).

Until recently, views were used to gauge the popularity of a video. If today this number can still be used by someone who evaluates a video “from the outside”, it is no longer the case for YouTube itself which uses other parameters to understand how popular a video is.

So today the views remain an easy number to visualize and that objectively grabs the audience. When some media wants to talk about the popularity of a video (for example the video of the new song by singer X), it certainly mentions the views.

Here, probably an answer to the question “how do YouTube views work” and above all “what are they for” is “to allow others to quote them”… maybe that’s the only possible answer.