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Gangnam Style Exceeds YouTube’s View Limit

Oppa Counting Style


Gangnam Style, the most viewed video on YouTube has just ‘broken’ the site by going over the maximum count YouTube has for views.


Only a few weeks ago Kim Kardashian was coined to break the internet after pictures of her nude photo shoot were released. The fallout from her attempt, I would say is quite minimal. A celebrity posted a picture of her butt, yes, that’s going to get some exposure. It is no way going to break the internet. No matter what my Kim K die-hard girlfriend says. But I’m not here to complain about Kim and Kanye – There’s already a long list of people already doing that for me.

When it comes to actually breaking things though, we've got Psy here with his ever popular song Gangnam style. Everyone knows Gangnam style, I’m fairly sure that even my Syrian granddad could even pick it out on television. Gangnam style is as catchy as a nasty winter cold and at one point or another, we've all had the sniffles.

Gangnam style has now been watched more than 2,147,483,647 times. It’s the most watched video ever. It’s beaten away all contenders leaving cat videos in the dust and Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ (The second most watched clip) a whole 1 billion views behind. But going over the 2.15 billion mark meant that YouTube could no longer keep track of the views because they simply didn't count higher than that. 



YouTube has until this issue used a 32-bit Integer. That means that with a 32-bit they were limited to a finite number of counts, in this case, 2.15 billion. They have since upgraded this to a 64-bit Integer. This ups that finite number to 9.22 Quintilian. Or, to be exact, 9,223,372,036,854,775,808.

Just so we’re clear, that number is: Nine Quintilian, two hundred and twenty-three quadrillion, three hundred and seventy-two trillion, thirty-six billion, eight hundred and fifty-four million, seven hundred and seventy-five thousand, eight hundred and eight.That’s barely anything, right? 

YouTube commented on the change on their Google+ page saying that: ‘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)!’


Psy has yet to comment on the YouTube breaking change. Maybe he’s completely bored of the song.

Google have however told the Verge that YouTube was never actually broken. In spite of the counter being exceeded, Google, who own YouTube had already put the new counter in place anticipating the K-pop anthem to storm pass the count limit. ‘We saw this coming a couple months ago and updated our systems to prepare for it.’

Take a trip over to the video on YouTube and hover your cursor over the view count. Those are some fast moving numbers. I’m not particularly math savvy, so let me know if you can figure out what it means.  I have a video on YouTube somewhere. I think it’s racked up about 100 views over the past 4 years.

So watch out Psy, I’m coming for you.


Tom has just graduated from University of East London in Creative and Professional Writing. He loves writing and is currently interning as a content writer hoping to go further. His other loves include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

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Gangnam Style Exceeds YouTube’s View Limit Reviewed by Tom Welby on Friday, December 05, 2014 Rating: 5
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