Instagram has only allowed users to post square, 1:1 aspect ratio photos and 15 second videos since its launch. This isn’t expected to change anytime soon—the company recently told Buzzfeed it will not be increasing the video time limit or allowing landscape or portrait video formats anytime soon .
For now, Instagrammers must make do with these constraints, but many marketers are not satisfied. As a result, they’ve attempted to game the system in order to achieve higher video view counts than what Instagram reports as “official.”
The simplest way for marketers to game the views system is by reposting videos on other accounts or Buy instagram views. By posting content on secondary or backup accounts that aren’t linked to the Instagrammers’ personal profiles, they are able to boost their engagement by creating the illusion of popularity.
Users who choose this path may also turn to reposting apps like Repost for Instagram and InstaRepost that allow them to quickly share posts with multiple accounts at once. Whether they do it on an old account or use a reposting app, marketers can quickly accumulate views and engagement this way.
Instagram has noticed these tactics and is doing everything they can to stop them by blocking accounts with high counts of video views and likes from accessing the platform for periods of time: “We’ve been ramping up the in-app messaging to make sure that people are aware of (instances where people aren’t using the system as intended). If they continue to do this, their accounts are going to be disabled temporarily until they come back and rectify that situation.”
But marketers need not rely solely on old accounts or reposting apps. There are now services that guarantee high numbers of video views in exchange for a fee. They typically work by using bots to automatically like, follow and engage with other users—this boosts their engagement numbers and makes the posts look more popular than they really are.
Marketers who choose this option can expect to pay between $5-$10 per 1,000 video views or likes. However, these services don’t always deliver on their promises.
There are also services that offer to boost the number of video views for a fee, but it’s unclear if they actually work or not. For example, many marketers have claimed that using bots results in “fake” video views—likes and comments are real but the number of actual views can’t be trusted.
It’s unclear how Instagram calculates the number of video views that it reports, so it’s hard for marketers to know if these numbers are actually accurate or not. But it could be a problem for brands who rely on Instagram as a source of social proof and want their posts viewed by as many people as possible.
That said, advertisers currently have little choice but to use these tactics if they want to boost their engagement numbers. In the meantime, Instagram is working on reducing the amount of spam that gets through its filters—the goal is to stop marketers from using bots and stop secondary or backup accounts from being used as a loophole in order to get around its video view restrictions.
As of right now, it appears that these tactics are working to some degree. Automation software like Instagress has been shut down entirely and Instagrammers whose accounts display suspicious signs like an abnormally high number of video views or excessive engagement don’t last long on the platform.
Whether or not Instagram’s efforts are truly effective remains to be seen. But marketers who want to ensure that their videos get the most views possible will have to continue using strategies like reposting on secondary accounts and buying from services that guarantee high numbers of video views.
These practices aren’t going away anytime soon, but it’s important for marketers to stay within Instagram’s guidelines if they don’t want their accounts disabled. Otherwise, many of the videos they’ve worked hard to get in front of their target audiences could end up buried in the platform’s feeds, resulting in minimal engagement and no conversions whatsoever.
Instagram video views are counted when a user has watched for at least 3 seconds. This is why some videos get more likes and comments than others, despite having the same number of total views. So if you want to increase your engagement on these posts, try making them shorter so that they can be viewed in full without scrolling down too much!