what happens to the YouTube accountant?


If you have or have ever watched a video on YouTube, you probably have noticed that the view counter on the Google video portal usually hangs – for a few hours or days – at number 301.

What is the reason for this? Vlogger Brady Haran, from the NumberPhile channel, decided to investigate the issue together with Ted Hamilton, Product Manager for YouTube and Analytics, to find out what happens to this enigmatic number.

Before exploring the subject directly, Hamilton explained that the YouTube count involves some mathematical secrets that aim to make the system relevant to users and eliminate counterfeit views.

Another important detail for the issue is the mirroring of the videos by several company servers in the world. In addition to optimizing the loading, the technique allows to unburden the web structure itself.

With this CDN model in mind, YouTube would then have a machine dedicated to receiving and compiling statistically the number of views coming from other servers.

Hamilton explains that starting at number 300, YouTube seeks to be concerned with the quality of the data, which enables the temporary freezing of views for a more detailed analysis of the system.

And what would be the reason for locking at 301 or another number nearby?

The answer lies in the question of mirroring. Some simultaneous views, on random servers, cause the sum (after reaching the number 300) to cause the lockup in different counts.

For more details on the phenomenon, including a more didactic illustration, be sure to watch the video below (in English):