When it comes to setting new benchmarks on YouTube, you’re likely familiar with MrBeast and his achievement as the most followed individual creator on the platform. MrBeast previously held the title for the most watched YouTube video within a 24-hour span, with one of his uploads in August 2023 amassing nearly 60 million views in a day.

However, MrBeast’s record was quickly eclipsed by the highly anticipated release of the Grand Theft Auto VI trailer in December, which raked in over 74 million views to claim the record from MrBeast.

But it now seems highly unlikely that the current record set by Discord will be surpassed any time soon.

On Monday, April 1st, 2024, the widely-used messaging platform Discord released a video introducing a new “Loot Boxes” feature. Although the feature turned out to be a prank for April Fools’ Day and was subsequently removed from the platform, Discord’s 18-second April Fools’ Loot Boxes video somehow managed to amass over one billion views within 24 hours.

Yes, you read that correctly. One billion views.

Credit: YouTube

The overwhelming number of views caused the video count to freeze at 628 million around the 16-hour mark as YouTube struggled to keep up with the staggering numbers before finally updating to 1.4 billion around the 24-hour threshold.

To emphasize this groundbreaking achievement, Discord surpassed the previous record by approximately 1.3 billion views.

What led to this phenomenon?

How did Discord manage to achieve this seemingly impossible milestone?

The company has been evasive on social media, simply posting “oops” on Elon Musk’s X platform on Tuesday in a veiled nod to the video. Discord also offered some sassy responses to certain users who commented on the post.

Delaware News Hub reached out to both Discord and YouTube for a statement, but as of now, there has been no response from either company. We will update this article if there’s any development.

Nevertheless, a software developer named Marvin Witt shared a compelling breakdown of the likely chain of events that led to this outcome. Essentially, it appears that Discord may have inadvertently (or intentionally?) created a functional “YouTube view bot,” as Witt detailed on X.

Here’s the sequence of events

During the introduction of a new feature, Discord typically displays a notification pop-up on the bottom right corner of both its desktop and web applications for users.

This announcement was made for the Loot Box prank feature on April Fools’ Day. Witt shared a snapshot of this pop-up. Essentially, Delaware News Hub can confirm witnessing this pop-up when logging into Discord on that Monday morning.

As per Witt, who also manages an independent source of news and updates concerning Discord, the Loot Box video from Discord was embedded in this pop-up using an iframe.

The pop-up message reads, “Loot Boxes have arrived!”

However, as Witt demonstrated, the YouTube video was only viewable if users hovered over the pop-up message, causing the video to pop up akin to a toast from a toaster oven.

It appears that Discord’s 18-second YouTube video was on an autoloop in the app’s background while users were engaged in messaging or simply left their computers idle.

Consequently, one question remains: Was this a deliberate move by Discord?

Considering the evidence provided by Witt, it appears to have been an unintentional occurrence.

On Witt’s X account, a screenshot of a Discord post from a “senior developer” at the company dated April 1st was shared.

The message reads, “How the heck is this video attracting so many views.”

Later in the day, certain users observed a modification in the code of the pop-up within the Discord app to rectify the issue, shifting from the YouTube video to a video file. However, as Witt pointed out, a large proportion of the views came from users who kept Discord running without actively using the app. This meant that the problem would persist until those users updated the app or the pop-up message ceased appearing post-April Fools’ Day.

The controversy surrounding whether this record should be acknowledged will likely reverberate within the YouTube community. Even if it is recognized, there will likely be a significant caveat attached to this record.

Nevertheless, Discord’s intent on April Fools’ Day was to deceive everyone. It seems they achieved their goal, albeit not entirely in the manner they had envisaged.

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