What Does “POV” Mean Online, and How Do You Use It?

Point-of-view shot of a woman pointing at the ocean while holding the hand of a person off-camera.
Duet PandG/Shutterstock.com

POV stands for “Point of View” and is commonly used to tell the viewer of an online video that it contains a story or experience from a certain perspective. That can be the video creator’s perspective or someone else’s point of view entirely.

Have you ever wondered what POV means in a video title or hashtag? This descriptive label is commonly seen on some of the most popular video apps and websites, but its use can sometimes be confusing.

Point of View:

POV is an initialism that stands for “Point of View.” It is mainly used to highlight that a video shows or explains something from the creator’s perspective, literally or figuratively. You will often see it added to the titles of videos on sites like YouTube, but it can also be used in memes or as a hashtag.

Its use as a hashtag is more common on TikTok and other social media apps. But unlike other popular initialisms such as IDK or BRB, POV is rarely used during private online chats or SMS text conversations.

POV can also occasionally be used to mean “in my opinion.” An example would be a post or status on social media like “We are overfishing the ocean #POV.”

The History of POV:

The term “Point of View” has been used to describe different perspectives in film, art, and literature for tens, perhaps hundreds, of years. Its use on video-sharing sites and social media is obviously much more recent.

Point-of-view shot of a mountain view from inside a tent.
Davide Angelini/Shutterstock.com

POV has probably been used to label certain types of online videos for as long as online videos have been a thing. It was originally used only for videos, or images, that appeared to show what the photographer was seeing with their own eyes. It then evolved, fairly recently, to also include mental points of view, as well as visual ones.

More recently still, within the last couple of years, POV has become a hugely popular tag on TikTok, where its use has evolved once again.

What Does POV Mean on TikTok?

The use of POV on TikTok can be a little confusing. It is sometimes used on videos that share an experience from the creator’s perspective, such as a personal story about themselves. But more often, a #pov video will be a humorous look at a subject from another’s perspective, such as a dog’s, a mom’s, or a teacher’s.

It can also be literal, showing something the way the video maker saw it. An example would be a mountain biking video filmed on a helmet-mounted GoPro. This is much less common, particularly on TikTok, but these types of videos do commonly include the POV hashtag.

#POV is a popular tag on the video-sharing app, racking up more than 679 billion views. Many POV videos go viral, gaining millions of hits in no time, and they are quite easy to make. The appeal to creators is obvious.

How POV is Used Online

POV is usually written in uppercase in a video title or description. If it is used in a hashtag it will often be lowercase. You will be most likely to see it used on apps and websites that contain videos, but it can also appear in written text and as a caption on static images.

Here are a few examples of how POV might be used online.

  • “POV: My mom when dinner is ready”
  • “Incredible Themepark ride – POV”
  • “Bees are incredible and we need to save them #POV”
  • “#pov. You come home after a busy day and see this…”

POV is a descriptive label, mainly for videos. That means you won’t see it much if you don’t spend a lot of time on apps like TikTok, YouTube, or Instagram. But if you do see it, you now know what kind of content to expect.