Youtube: what’s the reason behind 301 views?


You might have heard of the story that once YouTube videos reach the 301 view mark, the number counter suddenly freezes and sticks to 301. You might think that there is a glitch in the system or something is brewing with YouTube.

Product manager for YouTube analytics, Ted Hamilton, says otherwise.

Hamilton in an interview with Brady Haran of Numberphile said that glitch or any conspiracies should be set aside. This is because once a YouTube video reaches a certain number of views (which is 301), the database would freeze the view count until YouTube can verify that the count is correct to avoid booting attempts.

Booting attempts are those that are made by computers to artificially increase number of views of a YouTube video.

YouTube view counts are tracked by servers near the end users. YouTube then analyzes these reports from servers. Here, YouTube engineers would know whether there is a suspicious data pattern.

Hamilton added, “At some point the decision was made that we need to draw a line between what is innocuous and the database can handle and all of a sudden serious business. The proportion was calculated to be at about 300.”

That’s the reason why the counter sticks to 301 for quite a while.

Do you feel wiser now?

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