Discord's April Fool loot box video garnered 1.4 billion views in a day by accident

1.4 billion views in 24 hours, Discord's April Fools' gag about Loot Boxes accidentally created one of the most successful 'viewbots' of all time.

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An April Fools' gag can be amusing, cringeworthy, miss the mark, or fall flat in that 'meh' way. In the case of the popular social, chat, and online community platform Discord, its little April Fools was seen by 17% of the world's total population in 24 hours.

Discord's April Fools' gag is a simple joke: a short clip announcing that Loot Boxes are coming to Discord - a funny enough gag that would have been funnier during the height of videogame Loot Boxes, around 2017. You can watch it above.

So, how did this video get 1.4 billion (that's right, billion) views on YouTube, making it one of the most popular videos ever? A figure that makes the Grand Theft Auto 6 trailer we all watched in December look like a clip from a niche channel that posts the odd instructional video on how to, I don't know, untangle headphone cables? Apparently, it was a software error.

Basically, the video was played in Discord's small notification window for many users on April 1, on loop, too, creating a "viewbot" effect that garnered views from hundreds of millions of people. Software designer Marvin Witt took to X to explain the situation.

"Discord managed to create a working YouTube view bot in 2024 by playing their loot box announcement trailer on loop in the background of the in-app toast [notification]," Marvin explains. He adds that it was an accident or unintended, as a top developer at Discord posted a 'how is this happening' message on a Discord server. Discord posted a short and sweet "oops" after the revelation on X.

Hopefully, Discord or YouTube can provide more info on how many times the video was played in the background without people being aware. Also, it'll be interesting to see if YouTube takes action to correct the video's view count. As of writing, it still has over 1.4 billion views.

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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