Last week Vine introduced loop counts, and the general consensus has been that counting “loops” — or how many times a video has been watched — is great for marketers. And why wouldn’t it be? Before loop counts, Vine popularity was measured by engagement in the form of comments and likes, but there was no way to track how many times a particular video had been viewed. Now, anyone watching a video can watch the loop count go up in real time.
According to Eric Dahan, founder and CEO of InstaBrand, a network that connects brands with Vine and Instagram influencers, the loop count gives agencies a metric with which to take Vine seriously as a marketing platform. This new metric also gives influencers a concrete metric by which to measure the quality and performance of their content.
“Influencers are all of sudden rethinking their rates across the board and now feel that they have the leverage to charge what they should,” Dahan said in a statement. “In addition, influencers’ incentives are now aligned with brands since now they’re truly able to charge based on impression, meaning the better the content, the better the payout.”
Beyond the benefits for marketers, Wired contributor Mat Honan says loop counts are the most interesting and unique Vine feature. Likes, comments and “re-Vines” are very similar to the engagement metrics on other networks, but the loop count is a novel and reinforcing metric. The ability to watch the loop counts go up in real time makes the watcher feel like they’re part of something.
“If it’s just going up by one, you’re the only one viewing it,” he writes. “But as the numbers go higher and higher, you can get a sense of how many other people are watching it along with you. For Vine creators, it’s a gas to watch loop counts shoot up a few hundred (or thousand) digits every time a video loops. Yet it also encourages viewers to participate in something’s spread.”
In other words, loop counts could have the potential to be a very real measure of the virality of a particular video — a measure that encourages sharing. And when it comes to content, sharing is seen as the ultimate endorsement of quality content. In this way, the loop count could become the most important metric on Vine.