The New View-to-Follower (V2F) Ratio on Google+

With the rollout of the new "views" count on Google+ (see this short explanation by +Jaana Nyström, Google is now giving us visibility on the sum of your profile, post and photo views since October 2012.

One of the first questions people are now asking is what to make of the "view-to-follower" ("V2F" for short) ratio that is now possible to calculate. I'm guessing it won't be long before +CircleCount incorporates this into its excellent data slices, and that as a result, this ratio will become quite visibly associated with each of our profiles and pages. 

So, what does it mean?

My V2F ratio is 118, which is to say that I have 118 views for every follower. I've taken the liberty of pulling up a decidedly un_scientific sampling of people, which you'll see below, just to give me an anecdotal feel for what this V2F ratio _might mean. 

Here are some initial observations:

1 )  *Good Content*: This new views metric is aimed at generating more content on Google+. That's really clear. You can look at famous people, and if they're not regularly sharing good content, their views are relatively low. That really shows up with the V2F ratio. My guess is that Google with use some variant of this metric to start applying subtle pressure on those profiles that are being "featured" on Google+ but aren't applying much energy. 

2) Consistent Quality: Scan the list below and you will find that those with higher scores tend to be people whose posts get frequently and regularly shared - usually because they're good. That does not mean that those with lower scores had lower quality, however. I'm puzzled by why some very high quality contributors ended up with lower scores (though there are a couple of explanations below). Note that one thing I didn't look closely enough at, which I might later, is whether people who are regularly sharing animated gifs, quotes, etc. have higher scores. The small sample I did look at suggest, yes, they do, and that it may having something to do with how easy it is to share that kind of content here. Bottom line is that it appears sharing is the big driver here, and possibly having comments from a variety of people, no matter how light they might be. There is a question about whether posts that generate in-depth conversations from a smaller set of people have that same effect. 

3) Photos Score: Photographers tended to get fairly high scores, which makes sense as G+ is so visually-oriented. Photographer Nate Parker scored the highest V2F ratio that I saw at over 11,000. I'm still wondering if that one was a bug because it's so very, very high. 

UPDATE: There are some odd things happening with images and the new view metric. Images on Blogger can point to Google+ albums, so there are several cases where very popular bloggers who use Blogger in this way have very high V2F ratios. In other (rare) cases, Google is using the works of certain photographers as splash screens on Chromecast and that is driving huge numbers of views of the image, which are counted in the Google+ view. 


UPDATE: It's looking quite clear that views of one's videos posted on YouTube do not count in the total Google+ views figure. You can see this by looking at extremely popular YouTube channels that regularly have millions of views per video, but may only have a total of one or two million views here on Google+ profile. The only video views that count appear to be those from videos you share here on Google+. 


4) Being Featured Can Hurt: In a couple of cases, there were people with very high quality content, whose material gets regularly shared, but whose ratio is relatively low because they'd seen large growth in their follower counts in recent months. In other words, their views hadn't yet had a chance to catch up with their new follower counts. 

5) Commenting Still the Unsung Hero: Again, all this is anecdotal, but there are people who are excellent commenters on other people's posts, whose V2F ratio doesn't seem commensurate with the contributions they're making to this community. This is something that Google needs to address more broadly. 

6) Fame is a Curse: Well, it's all relative when it comes to this particular ratio, but famous people just seem to have a hard time and had all of the very lowest V2F ratios I ran across. While I didn't include them in the listing below, I also ran calculations for a half dozen or so people with followings in the 200-1000 range and the ratios were generally fairly high (1325, 381, 675, 270, 605, and 23). 

7) Hiding Numbers: In many cases, people hide their follower numbers so that it is impossible to calculate a V2F ratio. Once people learn that they can also hide their view numbers, that numerator may disappear in some profiles as well. 

OK. Those are just some short, and very preliminary, takeaways about what this new Views to Followers (V2F) ratio might mean. And, yes, I'm probably drawing way more conclusions here than are warranted. ;-)

Below is the raw data. For those who are listed below, please excuse my using you as part of the sample. I really hope you don't mind. Numbers are numbers and there are all kinds of explanations for them.  

And again, to be clear, this sampling wasn't scientific and wasn't even meant to be. I'll leave that to the Circle Count folks and maybe to +NOD3x

I just added a separate, new post going into why I think this ratio matters:
Hint: it has to do with ensuring opportunity in this network. 



+Trey Ratcliff: 598
+Victor Bezrukov: 32
+Michael Bennett: 275
+Daniel Schwabe: 170 
+Michael Bonocore: 202
+Nate Parker: 11,030 (not a typo)
+Sandra Parlow: 56
+Mark Traphagen: 227
+David Amerland: 53
+Denis Labelle: 47
+Mark Bruce: 1033
+Carmelyne Thompson: 228
+Jaana Nyström: 103
+Fraser Cain: 17
+Linda Dee: 477
+Dunken K Bliths: 378  
+Kevin Kelly: 19
+Meg Tufano: 36
+George Station: 20
+Vic Gundotra: 17
+Susanne Ramharter: 111
+John Kellden: 257
+Peter H. Diamandis: 5
+Jeff Sayre: 30
+Steve Faktor: 76
+Rajini Rao: 59
+Bruce Marko: 708
+Giselle Minoli: 36
+Wayne Radinsky: 423
+John Hagel: 79
+Jack C Crawford: 72
+Alireza Yavari: 78
+martin shervington: 122
+A.V. Flox: 14
+pio dal cin: 129
+Leland LeCuyer: 62
+Lee Smallwood: 215
+William Shatner: 7
+Mark Wahlberg: 9
+Rosa Golijan: 51
+Keith Urban: 2
+Nancy Pelosi: 13
+Al Gore: 2
+Sen. Rand Paul: 10
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