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Snapchat users watch 7 billion videos every day, and it's almost caught Facebook

Evan spiegelLucas Jackson/Reuters PicturesSnapchat CEO Evan Spiegel.

Snapchat users now watch 7 billion video clips every day, a source familiar with the matter told Business Insider, marking a big increase from just two months ago and raising the heat on the competition with Facebook.

The five-year-old mobile messaging service service, which has been valued at $16 billion in the private markets, has seen a dramatic spike in its video views, thanks in part to the introduction of Snapchat Stories — short video clips shared by users that are viewable for a period of 24 hours.

Snapchat’s video views are up sharply from May 2015, when the company was reportedly generating 2 billion daily video views. In November 2015, The Financial Times reported that Snapchat’s video views had climbed to 6 billion per day.

The latest milestone, first reported by Bloomberg, puts Snapchat just shy of Facebook, which announced in November that users of its social network watched 8 billion videos every day. Facebook, with roughly 1 billion daily users, is significantly larger than Snapchat, which is believed to have 100 million users.

Internet companies such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Google’s YouTube are racing to bolster the size of their video audience, as each company seeks to become the hub for the next generation of digital entertainment and to reap the lucrative advertising dollars that come with it.

It’s worth noting that the battle of the video metrics is a bit of an apples-to-oranges game at this point. Facebook, for instance, counts any video that auto-plays in a user’s stream for more than three seconds as a “view.” On Snapchat, a user must proactively click on the video for it to be counted in the tally. But for users of Snapchat’s messaging service, sharing videos of themselves is a much more typical use of the service than on Facebook.

Snapchat declined to comment.

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