Discord Breaks YouTube Records With 1.4B Views in 24 Hours

Discord Breaks YouTube Records With 1.4B Views in 24 Hours
Published: April 03, 2024

Discord, the popular communication platform among gamers and youngsters, found itself at the center of an unexpected viral phenomenon after its prank video made for April Fool’s Day accumulated over 1.4 billion views on YouTube in just 24 hours.

The video, titled “Discord Loot Boxes Are Here,” was intended as a playful jab at loot boxes.

However, it triggered a cascade of views far beyond what anyone could have anticipated — even ranking first on Google’s trending topics — fueling netizens to speculate about how it happened.

Users speculate about how Discord's loot box video gained an unbelievable number of views in such a short time.
Some Comments on Discord's Loot Box Video | Source: Discord, YouTube

Discord’s video completely dwarfed the record held by “Grand Theft Auto VI Trailer 1” released on December 5, which garnered over 90.4 million views in 24 hours.

The company's response to this supposedly accidental surge in views was succinct yet telling, with a simple "oops" acknowledging the situation and a reply of a Kevin James meme showing a smug look.

And when asked by a user about “what’s next,” Discord had this hilarious reply, STOP PRESSURING ME I JUST BROKE A WORLD RECORD I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WE'RE DOING NEXT 😭 😭 😭."

The popular platform hasn't provided detailed insights into the exact cause of this unprecedented viewership spike, leaving speculation to abound about the underlying technical glitch that propelled the video to such extraordinary heights.

Understanding What Happened

The video's unbelievable view count had tech experts rising to the challenge of explaining the strange phenomenon.

According to software developer and Discord data miner Marvin Witt, the anomaly stemmed from the video playing in the background of Discord's toast notifications, creating a viewbot-like effect that simulated millions of views.

Viewbots are automated programs or scripts designed to artificially inflate the view count of online content and create a false sense of user engagement.

While some individuals use view bots to boost their content's visibility, platforms like YouTube strictly prohibit this practice as it undermines the integrity of view metrics and can lead to penalties, such as video removal or account suspension.

In the case of Discord’s loot box video, its toast notifications inadvertently played snippets of the video in their small popup windows, causing the video to loop continuously within these notifications.

Toast notifications are brief, in-app messages that provide users with quick feedback or information about an operation without disrupting their current activity.

So, as users watched Discord’s video, these toast notifications unintentionally supplied views by repeatedly playing the video within their windows.

Analyzing Potential Implications

This accidental integration of the video within Discord’s toast notifications that essentially acted like viewbots had tech experts slamming YouTube and Google for their lax response.

“This has to be the pinnacle of dead internet if Discord can view bot in less than 1.4 billion views in less than 24 hours, get #1 on trending, and nothing. Google doesn’t care. YouTube doesn’t care. You can just get away with that,” Witt said in a video.

Discord's unintentional viral success is raising warranted suspicions about the integrity of online engagement metrics and YouTube's monitoring mechanisms, as well as the potential implications of such anomalies on ad revenues.

“There’s just so many implications, like how much did this cost YouTube? Also, is Discord a partnered channel? Are they even monetized?” Witt asked.

“The thing is, if you’re not partnered, YouTube can run ads on your videos. So, are they getting the full ad revenue? Is this actually like a net positive for YouTube because they made a billion views worth of money that they desperately need?” he further questioned.

Incidents like this serve as a reminder of the complexities and challenges in maintaining transparency and authenticity in online content consumption and engagement.

Find Out Why 75% of X's Super Bowl Traffic Was Attributed to Bots
Subscribe to Spotlight Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest industry news