The number of videos watched on ephemeral messaging app Snapchat every day has tripled since May to hit 6 billion, according to Financial Times (FT), bringing it closer to Facebook by this measure.

In a separate report, the same publication said Fidelity, the only fund manager to invest in Snapchat, wrote down the value of its stake by 25 per cent in Q3 2015, without giving any further details.

The valuation of each share dropped from $30.72 at the end of June to $22.91 by the end of September.  Snapchat was valued at $15 billion at its last fundraising in May.

Video views

The 6 billion figure is not far from the 8 billion views recently announced by Facebook. It is worth noting that Facebook’s figure includes both desktop and mobile views whereas Snapchat views are solely on smartphones.

“Video is fast becoming one of the most popular activities on social networking apps, and the race for eyeballs comes as analysts predict huge growth in digital video advertising,” the report said.

Videos are a major source of revenue for many social media networks, as advertising rates tend to be higher than for other media.

eMarketer predicts a 42 per cent increase in digital video revenues this year to $7.5 billion in the US, and Forrester Research forecasts that ad spending on videos will hit $12.6 billion in the US by 2019, according to the report.

In a recent earnings call, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said 500 million people watched videos every day on its site and apps, adding that “over the next few years, video is going to be some of the most engaging content online.”

The FT report said Snapchat has come under scrutiny for not being able to target specific users and having inefficient measurement and analytics tools. It has also not had much luck convincing users to take an action after watching an ad, such as making a purchase.

Snapchat said it is now offering targeting options, and working to better its measurement capabilities.