Asia

Gangnam Style music video 'broke' YouTube view limit

  • 4 December 2014
  • From the section Asia
Korean rapper-singer Psy performs on NBC"s 'Today show in New York in this 14 September 2012 file photograph.
Image caption Psy's horse-galloping dance move was immortalised in the Gangnam Style video

The music video for South Korean singer Psy's Gangnam Style exceeded YouTube's view limit, prompting the site to upgrade its counter.

YouTube said the video - its most watched ever - has been viewed more than 2,147,483,647 times.

It has now changed the maximum view limit to 9,223,372,036,854,775,808, or more than nine quintillion.

Gangnam Style became a worldwide hit when it was released in 2012, largely due to the surreal video.

How do you say 9,223,372,036,854,775,808?

Nine quintillion, 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.

Why was Psy nearly too much for YouTube?

Image caption Gangnam Style has been watched more than 2.15 billion times as of 4 December

YouTube's counter previously used a 32-bit integer, which is a unit used to represent data in computer architecture. This means the maximum possible views it could count was 2,147,483,647.

On 1 December, it posted a statement saying: "We never thought a video would be watched in numbers greater than a 32-bit integer... but that was before we met Psy."

Media captionIn 2012 the BBC's Rico Hizon asks Gangnam Style's Psy the story behind his name

Google, which owns YouTube, later told website The Verge that engineers "saw this coming a couple months ago and updated our systems to prepare for it".

YouTube now uses a 64-bit integer for its video counter, which means videos have a maximum viewer count of 9.22 quintillion.

Psy has yet to comment although news of YouTube's change was posted on his Facebook and Twitter pages.

The second most-watched video on YouTube - Baby by Justin Bieber - lags behind Gangnam Style by more than a billion views.

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