What’s Wrong With Youtube’s Statistics Graph?
Youtube allows all visitors to see access statistics for videos. This is how it looks like.
I love that feature. Not that I really need these figures all that much, but I’m a viual person, and often I just click on the statistics button out of curiosity. Sometimes the graph reveals interesting facts. For example, the fact that the Double Rainbow video (for which you see the current graph displayed above), with now more than 24 million views, took 6 months before really taking off. Actually the annotations (letters A to G above the graph) suggest that a mention at huffingtonpost.com was the first important publication driving traffic for the video.
But why, why have Youtube folks decided to show us these figures as an accumulation?
It’s a matter of fact that the overall number of views can only stay the same or grow. It will never fall. So the fact that it rises over time is not that exciting. It would rather be interesting to see when it rose and by how much. So why not show us the number of views within a certain time period instead? Analytics does it. Goo.gl does it. Feedburner does it.
The benefit would be that the Y-axis wouldn’t have to go all the way up to 24M in the example above, but it would scale to the maximum number of views per day instead and allow for much more detailed reading of the figures. That means: We would get much more information on the same space.
I have only two guesses as an explanation:
- Youtube wants to show something positive to all users all the time. The graph for every video eventually rises at some point.
- Youtube doesn’t want to give us all the details and the ability to compare views per time span.