Say goodbye to the magic number “301”: YouTube will no longer use it to freeze view counts on its videos.
Views are a crucial part of a video site’s ecosystem, making it clear to viewers which videos are most popular, helping creators to monitor the success of their content and both creators and the site to negotiate advertising deals.
For a long time, though, YouTube has found itself facing a problem: not all views are genuine. And so the site has recorded views from users, before freezing its counter once it hit 301 to weed out spam views from robots. Once reviewed, the view count would be updated to reflect the genuine number.
Now, though, YouTube has announced that it’s finally overcome the technical obstacle: as of this week, the view counter will no longer hold at “301+”, with live views from real people counted as they come in and recorded for everyone to see. Any that are suspected of being not genuine will be reviewed as the counter continues to climb.
The announcement sounds like a small improvement, but it arrives just as debate heats up surrounding Facebook’s rival video platform and its own view counts.