Popular 'Gangnam Style' Video Broke YouTube's View Counter, Prompts 64-Bit Upgrade
An online music video with a catchy tune and words that you probably can't understand has racked up so many views that it burned up YouTube's hit counter, no joke. That's right, not even YouTube could handle the number of views that Psy's "Gangnam Style" video has received since it was first posted in 2012. We were all so innocent and naive back then that no one predicted the video would go on to amass 2.15 billion views, especially in such a relatively short period of time. But it did.
It turns out that YouTube's video counter was never designed to spin like an overclocked fan on a hot summer day. Or to be more technical, it wasn't programmed to count past the maximum positive value for a 32-bit integer.
"We never thought a video would be watched in numbers greater than a 32-bit integer (=2,147,483,647 views), but that was before we met Psy. 'Gangnam Style' has been viewed so many times we had to upgrade to a 64-bit integer (9,223,372,036,854,775,808)!," YouTube stated on its Google Plus page.
Here's some crazier math to digest. Since it was first uploaded to YouTube in July 2012, those 2.15 billion video views break down to an average of more than 2 million views per day. It will probably be a long time before that kind of success is duplicated again, if ever.
So the next time you watch the video, hover your mouse over the hit counter for a little "math magic."