YouTubes 301+ views will be going away as site updates spam detection

YouTube logoIf you've ever been one of the early viewers of a popular YouTube video, you've probably seen it: "301+ views." "301+" is the view count YouTube pauses popular videos at so that it can separate the spam bots from the real viewers. Today, however, the video site announced that "301+" will be going away soonit's changing the way view counts work to be closer to real-time.

On less popular videos, every view is counted as a view, but for popular ones, YouTube doesn't want people gaming the view counter, so it pauses the view count. After 300 views, a verification system would kick in and pause the view counter for "a few hours" according to YouTube's little infographic. The new system will immediately count views YouTube is "confident" come from real people and will direct questionable hits to the old hours-long view verification process. The result is that you should never see the "301+ views" message once this is rolled out.

YouTubes 301+ views will be going away as site updates spam detection

For a single video, YouTube has to collect video views from multiple servers from all around the world, making tallying the view count more complicated than it might seem. The view verification system ensures that videos that look popular are actually popular with real people, not just someone with a bot net spamming video clicks. YouTube also only wants a "view" to count not just as a video click, but as a happy viewer that watched most of the video. If YouTube detects that users click away from a video after a few seconds, like from a totally misleading thumbnail and description, it doesn't count those clicks as views.

In an interview with the YouTube channel Numberphile, YouTube Analytics Product Manager Ted Hamilton gave an explanation of why YouTube cares so much. "We think of views as a currency, and therefore we have to make a significant effort to eliminate counterfeit views." YouTube also pays out a lot of money for ads, and a ton of views could get a video promoted to the front page, giving spammers lots of incentives to try to beat the system. So while it might seem silly to outsiders, YouTube views are serious business.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: YouTube

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