‘Gangnam Style’ pushes YouTube to its limits

Psy's trademark hit "Gangnam Style" is so popular that it exceeded YouTube's 2,147,483,647 view limit.
(Christopher Polk / AFP Getty Images)

Kim Kardashian may have tried to #BreakTheInternet, but it’s South Korean pop star PSY who “broke” YouTube -- or pushed it to its limits, at least.

Psy’s trademark hit “Gangnam Style” is so popular it exceeded YouTube’s 2,147,483,647 view limit. After reaching that unthinkable amount (if you’re a failed mathlete, that’s more than 2 billion) the counter stopped working.

“We never thought a video would be watched in numbers greater than a 32-bit integer...but that was before we met PSY,” YouTube wrote in a post on Google+. “‘Gangnam Style’ has been viewed so many times we had to upgrade to a 64-bit integer.”


The California company, owned by Google, upped the view counter’s maximum to 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 -- that’s more than 9 quintillion. But YouTube didn’t technically break because of the hit song, Google spokesman Matt McLernon told CNN.

“It’s just people having fun with the language,” McLernon said.

To have its own bit of fun, YouTube recently programmed the “Gangnam” video’s counter to move backward and forward when viewers hover over it.

“Gangnam Style,” uploaded nearly 2½ years ago, was the first video to hit 1 billion views.

Twitter: @ParviniParlance