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'Gangnam Style' breaks YouTube's bank - surpassing 2,147,483,647 views!

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By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online
12/4/2014 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (

Outdated view counter sends sassy music video over the top

A high-energy music video with a catchy techno beat has proved that sometimes, there is such a thing as being "too popular." "Said video, "Gangnam Style" by South Korean rapper PSY has proven to be an international super smash. So much so, that YouTube's outdated views counter went off the charts with it - with 2,147,483,647 views.

Dating as far back as 2012, 'Gangam Style' has maxed out the site's original view counter.

Dating as far back as 2012, "Gangam Style" has maxed out the site's original view counter.


By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online
Catholic Online (
12/4/2014 (4 years ago)

Published in Music

Keywords: PSY, Gangam Style, YouTube, views

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dating as far back as 2012, "Gangam Style" has maxed out the site's original view counter.

"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," wrote Google, which owns YouTube, in a blog post this week. "'Gangnam Style' has been viewed so many times we have to upgrade!"

St. Lidwina of Scheidam, patroness saint of ice skating, is honored in this beautiful badge pin!

"Gangnam Style" this week had breached the barrier, showing more than 2,152,512,000 views.

"Gangnam Style" this week had breached the barrier, showing more than 2,152,512,000 views.

YouTube's view counter was based on an outdated 32-bit integer, a unit of data in computer programming languages. The number 2,147,483,647 is its maximum positive value.

YouTube's designers probably never imagined that a video on the still-young platform, back when a mere several million views was considered a smash hit might be watched more than 2.1 billion times.

"Gangnam Style" this week had breached the barrier, showing more than 2,152,512,000 views.

How could this have occurred? YouTube's software engineers saw the problem and recently updated to a 64-bit view counter across the site. According to Google spokesman Matt McLernon, the view counter can now go up to 9 quintillion views (9,223,372,036,854,775,808, to be exact), which should hold PSY for a while.

"Nothing actually broke," McLernon says reassuringly. "There was never anything that actually went wrong. It's just people having fun with the language."

There's no getting around the fact that PSY's trademark horse-riding dance video, almost 2˝ years old, is an impressive success. Uploaded in July 2012, "Gangnam Style" was the first clip to hit a billion views and is the most-watched video of all time. Its popularity was so timeless that the clip was the fifth most-played video on YouTube this past summer, McLernon said.

"People still play this video an absurd number of times," he said.

In honor of the occasion, YouTube has added a new wrinkle: If you hover your cursor over the "Gangnam Style" view counter, the numbers spin backwards and forwards.


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