YouTube recently had to deal with a minor yet unique problem caused by Psy’s “Gangnam Style” music video. While Kim Kardashian posing nude for a photo shoot may have “broken” the internet, the South Korean popstar’s 2012 single and accompanying dance craze managed to literally break YouTube’s view counter.
On December 2, 2014, Psy’s video was on pace to hit 2,147,483,647 views, which is as high a number as YouTube’s 32-bit register would count. A viewer with the username Nixie Pixel commented on the computer science problem, noting:
Pixel was referring to the fact that 32-bit signed integers only range from -2,147,483,648 through 2,147,483,647. YouTube responded with their own comment and quick fix:
If you hover over the video counter now, the numbers flip slot-machine-style until they end up showing the negative end of the 32-bit integer range. It’s the latest clever trick from YouTube in a long line of fun little Easter Eggs.
“Gangnam Style” is the most-viewed video in the entire history of YouTube. At the time of this writing, the music video shows 2,152,320,758 views, meaning Google’s online video site’s view counter register is all up-to-date and well.
But we’d love to see the day when a video comes close to breaking a 64-bit register, too. In order for that to happen, an upload would need 9,223,372,036,854,775,807 views. If “Gangnam Style” keeps racking them up at a rate of 2.15 billion views every 871 days, it’ll only be another 11,740,047 years or so before YouTube has to update its view count register again.