No, Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ Did Not Break YouTube Video Counter

Gangnam Style YouTube record

Tech-news sites this week reported at face value a tongue-in-cheek posting from YouTube that Korean pop star Psy’s “Gangnam Style” — the site’s most-watched video ever with more than 2 billion views — had somehow “broken” YouTube’s video-views counting system.

“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,” YouTube said in a Google+ post. “‘Gangnam Style’ has been viewed so many times we had to upgrade to a 64-bit integer (9,223,372,036,854,775,808)!”

Among the ensuing coverage, CNET reported that YouTube “stalled for a bit,” noting that mousing over the counter caused it to spin erratically and display random numbers.

But according to YouTube, the post about “Gangnam Style” forcing it to upgrade the video-view counter was a total joke. “It’s an easter egg,” a rep said. “We updated the counter to 64-bit months ago.”

In late 2012, viral-video sensation “Gangnam Style” — satirizing the upscale district of Seoul of the same name — beat Justin Bieber’s “Baby” to become the first video on YouTube with 1 billion views.

As of Friday, per the YouTube (not broken) video counter, “Gangnam Style” has been viewed 2.158 billion times. Watch the video in all its odd glory again, if you desire:

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  1. Aaron says:

    Wait how was it a joke? I came across an article where there was a picture of the view counter displaying a negative value. They only discovered it and created the Easter egg later.. not months in advance as claimed.

  2. Celeste Chang says:

    i am glad to know that finally the trade wind is blowing east, How remarkable Psy has made an impact in the world.

  3. Sergio says:

    You missed the joke.

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