SAN FRANCISCO: Daily video views on Snapchat are now running at 6bn, a threefold increase in six months and even faster growth than Facebook's doubling of its video views over the same period.

The source for the figure initially quoted by the Financial Times was "people close to the company", and the firm later confirmed the number without further comment.

Announcing its third quarter results, Facebook revealed that 500m users were watching 8bn videos every day, implying an average of 16 daily views each. Snapchat is reported to have 100m users, which implies they are each viewing 60 videos a day.

Whatever credence one attaches to the actual numbers – videos on Facebook are deemed to have been viewed after three seconds but the autoplay feature may boost its total figures, for example. Earlier this year, Snapchat was accused of charging advertisers for "zero-second views" based on an ad loading even if users spent less than a second with it – brands and agencies are paying more attention to Snapchat for a number of reasons.

"If you want to speak to a millennial audience, hire millennials to create the content for you," Jason Peterson, chief creative officer at Havas North America, told Advertising Week.

"Snapchat is the immediate future for reaching our consumers, [and] whether or not our clients are ready for it, we want to be ready for it."

Some agencies are also using it as a recruitment tool to find those same millennials, posting short videos that reflect the agency culture as a way of attracting the sort of people they want.

"On Snapchat, the risks are a lot lower. It's a place where we can experiment and have some fun," explained David Berkowitz, CMO of marketing agency MRY. 

"It's not as high profile as Facebook or Twitter where people scrutinize every word and you have to represent the brand."

Data sourced from Financial Times, Digiday, Advertising Week; additional content by Warc staff