Back in 2015 I was pretty active on Google+ and most of my posts would get over a hundred plus ones, which are basically the same as a like on Facebook. Getting this much activity on a public post meant that more people were likely to see it. Eventually this pattern resulted in five photos being selected and featured by Google on Chromecast. While I was excited about the honor, I had no idea how many views would come with it.
Checking out your view count used to be a great part about sharing on Google+. They have since removed the feature, and replaced it with a section called "Your Influence" which pales in comparison in my opinion. I used to get somewhere around five to ten thousand views per photo. This number could jump to 50 or even 100 thousand in rare cases that a number of shares occurred.
The first photo I had featured on Chromecast was my Niagara Falls sunrise photo. It gathered around 32 million views before being retired. I was blown away. This was way more views than I had ever received on Facebook, 500px, or Flickr.
When I received the notification about my first Cape Cod sunrise photo I knew I'd have to start checking the views right away to see the impact. This is where things got crazy. I got another notification the next day so now I had two Cape Cod sunrises showing on Chromecast and from what I hear Google Hangout backgrounds as well. The views were climbing in ridiculous chunks everyday. It quickly broke all my previous records and kept at it day after day. This stayed this way for a few weeks, until they both finally were retired after getting over 950 million views a piece.
Here is the first image selected July 23, 2015 and the corresponding email:
Here is the second image selected July 24, 2015 and the corresponding email:
These photos were both captured in the Cape Cod sunrise I described in "There Is Nothing Like Photographing a Sunrise [Part 3]."
Oddly enough I posted a before and after reprocess of the under the dock shot almost a year later. That was also selected for Chromecast proving that either the selection team, or the algorithm really like docks.
Here is the third image selected July 24, 2015 and the corresponding email:
Now I don't have actual screenshots of the view count under the photos as proof, but I did grab one of my total view count on the profile page before they took it away.
What do all these views really add up to? Not much except another number to throw in a bulleted list. Every time I tell someone about it the first question is "do you get any money for that?"
If you want to se more about how Google selects the image it features there is a help page here.
On a related note I actually shared this info on Quora as an answer to "How can I get my photo featured on Google's Chromecast screensaver?" and it's my most popular answer with over 17 thousand views.