How engagement metrics are counted

YouTube engagement metrics (views, likes, dislikes and subscriptions) reflect how many times a video or channel has been interacted with. These metrics can be an important measure of your video or channel's overall popularity.

We want to make sure that your metrics are high quality, and come from actual humans and not computer programs. It takes our systems some time to figure out which views, likes, dislikes and subscriptions are legitimate.

Note: It may take time for your metrics to appear in our system during the first few hours after your video is published.

Change in metrics

After legitimate engagement events are counted, your metric count should be updated more often.  The timing of these changes varies depending on a video or channel's popularity and viewership. Keep in mind that we're constantly validating and adjusting engagement events.

On some videos and channels, your metric count might seem frozen or not show the metrics that you expect. Metrics are algorithmically confirmed to maintain fair and positive experiences for content creators, advertisers and viewers. To verify that metrics are accurate, YouTube may temporarily slow down, freeze or change your metric count, and discard low-quality playbacks.

Note: Using multiple devices to watch the same video and streaming the same video across multiple windows and tabs are examples of low-quality playbacks.

Paid advertising views

If your video is used as an ad on YouTube, we may count views of your ad as views on your video. These paid advertising views are counted as views because they indicate that a viewer engaged with the video.

  • TrueView in-stream video ads: Paid advertising views will be counted as views when:
    • Someone watches a complete ad that's 11–30 seconds long
    • Someone watches at least 30 seconds of an ad that's more than 30 seconds long
    • Someone interacts with the ad
  • TrueView video discovery ads: Paid advertising views will be counted as views when someone clicks the ad and the video starts to play

Check views with YouTube Analytics

If you're looking at a video that you uploaded, you can monitor your views more closely using YouTube Analytics. Keep in mind that Real-time activity only shows estimates of potential view activity. It might not match the number that you see on the watch page.

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