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Why Do YouTube Videos Freeze at 301 Views?

YouTube 301
YouTube

If you look at a lot of YouTube videos — as we do — you’ve probably noticed that the number 301 appears much more than any other figure in the video’s counter. This is particularly striking in cases where the view count is seemingly stuck at 301 while the like and dislike indicators suggests the video has been viewed many more times than that.

Numberphile” Brady Haran went straight to the source and had an YouTube employee explain the reasoning behind this seeming discrepancy.

While the whole video is worth a look, we’ll give you a quick summary of what was said.

Basically, YouTube doesn’t want folks to manipulate how many views a video gets. So for a clip’s first 300 views, their system allows any view to count. But, after that, views are verified using a complicated algorithm which takes up to a day to kick in.

Why the views so often pause at 301 is because the verification process’ code is written in a way that allows one more unverified view after 300. Sometimes, if that last allowed view comes in simultaneously from different parts of the world, the freeze will occur at 302, 303, etc.

Since the likes and dislikes are never subjected to verification, they tend to get way ahead of the view count in the hours when a video first goes viral.

So now you know.

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