Yesterday, when I was reading the news online, I ran across this article on how the popular song, “Gangnam Style” is the highest watched Youtube video in the history. So I quickly searched up the video to see it for myself. The video has been watched over 2 billion times, not million but billion. As you all know, every Youtube video has a view counter on the bottom of the video stating how many views it received. When the Youtube programmer was designing the counter for to keep track of the view counts, they assumed that the number would not exceed 32-bit which is 2,147,483,647 views. But yesterday, the “Gangnam Style” exceed this number thus breaking the view counter. Now if you go to Youtube and watch the video and hoover over the view counter, you will see magic! As expected, the Youtube programmers reacted quickly and upgraded the view counter to a 64-bit which is 9,223,372,036,854,775,807!
I found this interesting because in CSE 262, we recently learned about limitation and allocation of memory when writing programs. For the Youtube programmers, they were practicing Google coding guidelines and assume that by setting a 32-bit counter, they were safe from any glitch. But this redefine what programming is all about. Programming is about constantly upgrading and modify your code to withstand any incoming circumstance and challenges. Another key insight we can take from this is that use of internet is starting to grow bigger and now more users are connecting to the internet. Ten years ago, having a 100,000 views on a YouTube video was awesome and nowadays, videos can easily can 1 million views within a day or two. We can conclude this the usage of internet is definitely on the rise.
Now the big question is when will the 64-bit view counter become obsolete.